Chicken with tomato and rosemary sauce Pollo in Potacchio
1 chicken cut into pieces. You can also buy pieces if you prefer, to avoid those breasts.
half a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
150ml white wine
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
For the potacchio sauce
1 small onion or 3 shallots
half a dozen rosemary sprigs each 5” long or so
rind of an unwaxed lemon: use a potato peeler to take the rind off, taking care to avoid the white pith
perhaps 1 dried chilli
3 tbsp olive oil
450g fresh tomatoes peeled* and coarsely chopped or a couple of cans drained and coarsely chopped
*peeling fresh tomatoes is a cinch. Boil a pan of water, drop them in for maybe half a minute, run under cold water, the skin should come off easily. DON’T use fresh tomatoes on principle, use them because they are good tomatoes. Mostly fresh tomatoes are still of a mind-bogglingly bad quality and using canned will be much better. But there are bad canned tomatoes too.
Wash and dry the chicken pieces and rub with the lemon half. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. When the butter foam begins to subside put in the chicken pieces and fry on all sides until they are nicely browned. Add the wine, bring to the boil and boil for one minute. Turn the heat down and throw in the onion and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Chop very finely together the onion or shallots, rosemary needles, the rind of the lemon and the chilli. Put the oil in a frying pan and when it is hot add the chopped ingredients. Saute gently for 5 minutes or so and then add the tomatoes and a little salt. Cook over lively heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Now that the potacchio is done, scoop it into the saute pan with the chicken and mix it with all the lovely cooking juices at the bottom of the pan. Let the whole thing cook together for at least another quarter of an hour so that the chicken will insaporire – take on the flavour of the sauce. How long to continue cooking for, depends on how you like your chicken; I prefer it to be close to falling off the bone.
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This is from Anna del Conte’s The Classic Food of Northern Italy I imagine it is one of those cookbooks nobody buys because it’s written by a middle-aged woman and has few pictures. What a shame. It is a splendid book, as you will see from my recipes here which are scattered with her thoughts.
Accompany it with mashed potato or lemon risotto.