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Pollo Alla Romano (Roman Chicken)

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This is a very old peasant dish from Rome. Roman houeswives (domestic dictators rather than goddesses all too often) would make this dish every week. Typical of such dishes, it use low quality meat, wine and herbs to tenderise and give flavour and the dish is slow slow cooked -- traditionally prepared in the morning and left to simmer for several hours. When I first found it in the early 70's, the recipe had a rich sauce and this is the version I give here. However, in a back-street cafe in Rome last time I was there it was severed 'dry'. Either way it is a stunning dish. My wife claims that she fell in love with me when first I made it for her (truly a seductive recipe) and it is still her favourite from my repertoire. In keeping with its origins, this is best made from cheap cuts of chicken and not breast! This is my adaptation of the original.


Serves: 4

  • 6 rashers bacon (lean)
  • 1 large chicken (diced into about 8 pieces)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (large cloves, crushed)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or equivalent dried)
  • ½ bottle dry white wine
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (or a jar of Passata)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree (preferably sun dried)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


Pollo Alla Romano (Roman Chicken) is a community recipe submitted by joshi and has not been tested by so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • Dice the bacon into small pieces and lightly fry in olive oil. Remove and fry the chicken pieces until golden.
  • Chop the onions roughly and fry until softened. Add the garlic for half a minute.
  • Return the bacon and chicken, add the Rosemary (removed from the stalks) and a generous scrape of pepper. Pour over the wine and simmer very gently for 20 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes (Passata) and simmer for 1- 2 hours on the lowest gas or in a very low oven. Check that it does not dry out or, alternatively, cook in the oven in a shallow dish turning the meat regularly to achieve a dry coating.
  • Add puree and adjust seasonings a few minutes before serving.
  • Serve with small boiled new potatoes or gnocchi and a green salad with a crisp wine. Be prepared for a 'positive response'!!
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    What 1 Other has said

    • I like to add a chunkily chopped onion about 2/3 of the way through, as well as using the olive oil from a small tin of anchovies. Also serve with tagliatelle as al dente as possible.

      Posted by starman on 13th December 2015
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