Hot & Sweet Chicken with Peppers

•3 red mild peppers, such as frying peppers or bell peppers
•5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
•8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2-2 1/4 pounds), trimmed or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved across
•Salt and pepper
•Flour, for dredging
•1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
•4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
•3-4 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
•About 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
•1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
•1/2 cup dry white wine or an additional 1/2 cup chicken stock
•1 1/2 cups chicken stock
•3-4 Italian pickled hot cherry peppers, seeded and sliced or finely chopped, plus a splash of pickling juice
•Juice of 1 lemon
•2 tablespoons butter
•Crusty ciabatta bread, warmed and torn
PreparationChar the peppers under a hot broiler or over an open flame on the stovetop; cool in a covered bowl to handle. Halve them lengthwise and seed, then slice the sweet, smoky peppers and reserve.

In a large skillet, heat about 4 tablespoons EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour; brown on both sides to deep golden and remove to a plate. Brown the chicken in two batches, if necessary, to keep from crowding the pan.

After browning the chicken, add another turn or two of EVOO to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme, season with salt and pepper and soften. Stir in the tomato paste until fragrant. Add the wine and stir, then add the stock, stir and add the hot peppers, plus a splash of their juice. Thicken the sauce for 5-6 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice, swirl in the butter and whisk to combine. Slide the chicken back into the pot, then heat through, 2-3 minutes more.

Serve with crusty bread for mopping and sopping.

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