There’s an unofficial division of labor in our kitchen: I mostly make the pasta, unless it’s one of the four Roman classics: amatriciana, caccio e pepe, carbonara, or gricia – in which case Stefano is the authority. Stefano does the risottos and he’s in charge of meat and seafood dishes. I do all of the baking and desserts.
Even today in the 20th century, many an Italian man lifts not even a finger at home, but this has definitely begun to change. Among our circle of friends, the guys would be ridiculed for not doing their share of the household work. Stefano is one of the enlightened ones. He is also masterful at preparing chicken, evoking the methods and flavors he recalls as a child, when his mother would butcher a pollo ruspante, or free-range chicken, and cook it on the stove top. It was one of Stefano’s favorite dishes, and one he still he requests when he returns home to Rome.
The tomatoes, peppers, capers and oregano make this a classic, Roman-style chicken dish. As is so often the case with regional recipes, everyone has their variation. In ours, we add peppers and tomatoes and cook the chicken slowly until the meat comes off of the bone.
It’s not a glamorous dish. Rather, it’s comfort food – rich and hearty, but complex in flavor. It’s a guy’s kind of recipe and a tribute to men everywhere who cook, care for children, fold the laundry, and manage the household.
4 thoughts on “Roman-style Chicken”
Oh boy, but this just reminds me of being a kid at home. My mom made a very similar dish once every week. It was a mid-week thing in our house as I was growing up, and it remains so to this day. I’m with you about a longer cooking time. The way the meat falls from the bone makes it so luscious. I hope all is well with you and your family and that you are looking forward to a wonderful holiday season.
Love this chicken! Enjoyed for the first time at Armando al Pantheon…so succulent! This is pretty much the recipe I have been using since and agree with cooking for about an hour. The only change I did was to roast and peel the peppers; adds a nice touch and adds a little something we think! It might be breaking with tradition, but I am considering using turkey thighs next time…
This is real Roman soul food! Agree about the long cooking, it really helps meld the chicken with its sauce. I usually use less tomato but after seeing how good this looks, I want to try your version! Always love having lots of sauce for “la scarpetta” or dressing pasta!
Frank, I am seriously considering making this with turkey thighs this weekend…can’t see why it wouldn’t be delicious…just cook it longer! “La scarpetta” is the best part! Although considering I am seriously addicted to pasta, wouldn’t say no to that for a primi!
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