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Chicken In A Pot And Sunday Lunch In Season

Chicken In A Pot

Chicken in a pot, with or without peppers, was the substitute for roast chicken when the weather got too hot to light the oven.

Its flavor and texture recalls roast chicken, which is just as juicy and tender.

Chicken In A Pot

Sunday lunch.

Much more than we do today, some foods were once reserved for the festive table. So Sunday lunch was a jubilee of flavors that we children looked forward to all week.

The term sumptuous refers to a food that was precious not only because of its ingredients but also because it was not eaten every day. This is another reason why it was special.

Through the food shared at the table, the same for everyone, the feast day was celebrated and the family reunited. The azdore (homemakers) cooked the best of tradition, following the seasons in the choice of each dish on the menu, which, especially on Sundays, included a first course, main course, side dish and dessert.

Until late spring, the kitchen was the warmest, best-smelling and most lived-in room.
But with the arrival of summer, everything changed. When I woke up, the curtains were already closed to keep the heat out and everything was dark and quiet. Taking advantage of the coolness of the early morning hours, the clever azdora would prepare the Sunday lunch dishes well ahead of breakfast time.

Menus changed according to the seasons.

The steaming soup tureens were replaced by large bowls of strozzapreti with ragù or tagliatelle with fish or vegetables sauce (but the meat ragouts never left the scene).
Summer roasts replaced long cooking winter ones. The sides also changed. From cooked, and often enriched with béchamel sauce or grated parmigiano reggiano and butter, they moved on to elaborate but fresh salads.

Desserts also followed the seasons. Parfaits and macedonia with gelato or pastry cream, zuppa inglese and zuccotto were the desserts at the end of the meal, while simple ciambella, dry or filled, were the cakes for breakfast and merenda.

Chicken in a pot.

One of my favorite dishes from my childhood is roast chicken with potatoes.
Maybe that’s why I have a special love for the chicken in a pot that my grandmother used to make in so many different ways.

Sometimes she would cook the chicken, always in pieces, never whole and already deboned to shorten the cooking time, with just a few sprigs of rosemary and two cloves of garlic, which she would then remove. Or she would add vegetables, also already cut: potatoes, peppers, courgettes (which become almost a cream).
For me, the chicken and peppers duo is still the best.

When you took the lid off, the smell was inviting.
Turning the chicken pieces over, you will see how the skin in contact with the bottom of the pan allowed them to cook quickly but leaving the meat soft and tasty (when buying chicken, ask the butcher to remove the bones from the chicken legs but to leave the skin on).

Nonna would put the chicken on a large white plate, surrounded by the vegetables from the cooking or with fresh salad at side.

This dish has accompanied all my summers and when it arrived on the table there was silence to emphasize its simple goodness.

Buona cucina, Monica

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Chicken in a pot

Food Tips

The deboned chicken cooks faster. But if time is not an issue, cook for an hour.

In addition to the peppers, if you like mushrooms, add them. I recommend shitake, which are as cheap as champignons but stay firmer when cooked.

Chicken in a pot with pepper recipe

serve 4

4 chicken legs with over-legs, deboned but with their skin
red pepper, 1
mustard powder, 3 teaspoons (or 2 generous spoonful of cream mustard)
filtered juice of 1 lemon
a few sage leaves
white wine (or stock), 200 ml
salt to taste


Cut the pepper in half, remove the seeds and filaments, wash and cut into slices. Set aside.
If you prefer, you can use another vegetable.

In a pan large enough to hold the chicken, arrange the pieces so that the skin is in contact with the bottom of the pan.

Season with salt and mustard.

Sprinkle with the filtered lemon juice.

Cook the chicken uncovered over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

After this time, pour off all the wine (or stock), place the vegetables on top of the chicken and season with another pinch of salt.

After 5 minutes, cover with the lid and cook over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes. If you don’t put in any vegetables, which release water during cooking, check the chicken after 15 minutes and if you feel the liquid is too little, add as much water, stock or wine as necessary.

The chicken is ready.

Remove the vegetables and the chicken, turning it from the skin side which will be shiny and crispy while the meat will be tasty and juicy.

If you are not going to eat it straight away, strain the cooking sauce and set aside. Then use the sauce to baste the chicken when you reheat it.

Note: When there are 5-10 minutes left before the end of cooking, check the chicken. If there is too much liquid, turn up the heat. If, on the contrary, it is completely dry, add a few ladles of broth or water and finish cooking.

Italian recipes

Chicken in a pot

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