Dining In: Peasant Chicken from San Gimignano, Italy
A recipe for Chicken with Herb Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce posted by Epicurious (recipe here) reminded me of a delicious Peasant Chicken dinner that I had in San Gimignano, Italy this past May.
Peasant Chicken is similar to Hunter Chicken (a cacciatore), but the unique feature of this dish is that it includes green olives.
Here is my photo of the dish as served in San Gimignano.
I searched the Internet as well as my own vast collection of cookbooks for recipes for peasant chicken and came up with several possibilities.
Epicurean.com has a recipe for Chicken with Green Olives that sounds like the dish that I had. That recipe is here.
I checked The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen by Frances Mayes and Edward Mayes and found Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes. Mayes’ recipe uses both black and green olives. I am sure that the recipe varies with regional preferences.
I will try the Frances Mayes’ recipe today and see how my rendition compares to the original in San Gimignano.
Grocery list: Chicken, wine from the Chianti region of Italy, Jersey Fresh cherry tomatoes, broad leaf parsley, black olives, and green olives. I already have extra-virgin olive oil. Consult the cookbook for exact quantities for these ingredients.
First, oven roast the cherry tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half, season with salt and pepper, and toss in garlic and herbs. Roast for a few hours on low oven heat. Here’s a peek at a bowl of the tomatoes (half the batch).
Now brown the chicken in olive oil and add a bit of chianti. Move the chicken and wine to a baking dish. Cover with a mix of the olives, parsley, and roasted tomatoes. Bake for thirty minutes.
Serve over nests of angel hair pasta or your own favorite pasta.
This is how my dish turned out. It smells so good, and it is delicious. It looks similar to the San Gimignano version, but I think the San Gimignano recipe uses white wine and more olive oil. Regardless, this recipe is definitely a keeper.
Next week, I will try the Epicurean.com recipe and see which dish comes closer to the one Mama made in Italy.
YOUR TURN: Have you tried to duplicate a dish from another country or another area of our country?