Saturday, October 9, 2010

Roman-style Chicken to Welcome Giada

Roman-style Chicken 1, edited

As I mentioned to you last week, the I Heart Cooking Clubs group now begins six months of cooking with Giada de Laurentiis.  I know she has her detractors, but I admit to being a big fan - I've used many of her recipes downloaded from the Food Network website, and so far I've found every single one of them to be quick, simple and totally reliable.  Now I eagerly await my copy of Giada's Kitchen which I've just ordered, and am looking forward to having Giada join good company on my kitchen bookshelves.

Born in Rome, Italy, and then raised in Southern California, I love the way Giada takes Italian classics but is not afraid to put a Californian spin on them.  I know there are some purists who may be appalled by this, but in my opinion it takes a good understanding of, and respect for, the classics to be able to pull this off successfully.

I'm sure most of us have the idea of Italian food preparation being a time-consuming business, and indeed I believe that can be the case.  But, hey, Giada's a busy woman - I don't imagine that she often has the time to be spending all afternoon rolling pasta, as her grandmother may have done.  So I like that she is not ashamed to take a few shortcuts here and there, but demonstrates that you can still deliver a good, healthy, flavourful, Italian-style meal to the table using good quality, fresh ingredients with a minimum amount of fuss and effort.

Now, as I've told you here before, I'm a "make it from scratch" kind of woman as much as I can be.  Aside from wanting to know where everything that I eat comes from, I love the process of being involved as much as possible in every stage of producing what I eat - okay, so I'm not going to go out and kill a chicken (though I truly believe that if I'm prepared to eat the bird then I really should do that) and being able to press my own olive oil is not a reality (I could go on, but you get my drift).  The point I'm trying to make is that I want my cooking to be more than just an assembling of store-bought ingredients.  That said, I'm not super-woman - sometimes the day is just too busy, or I didn't plan well enough in advance (making everything for a meal from scratch requires planning), and I just have to get a meal together from ingredients I have on hand, and do it quick.  It's times like that I often turn to Giada, and so far she hasn't failed me.

So this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, we are all throwing open the kitchen doors and saying "Welcome" to Giada - I thought this Roman-style Chicken (original recipe here) would be the perfect way to do that.  It was definitely quick and easy to make (though could be largely made ahead if you were organised enough), full of flavour, light and fresh, and would also be great to make for a crowd.  Sadly my photos don't do it justice at all, but it was late and dark and I was in too much of a hurry to get it to the table.

Roman-style Chicken 2, cropped & edited

Roman-Style Chicken Recipe
Adapted from recipe by
Giada de Laurentiis
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1kg (2lb) chicken pieces
flaky sea salt
black pepper, freshly ground
olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
3 slices prosciutto, finely chopped (I used smoked, streaky bacon)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g (15oz) can whole tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (if using dried 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon fresh oregano (if using dried 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers (drained & rinsed)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Season all the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot, add chicken pieces and cook until browned all over.  You may have to do this in a couple of batches.  Remove and set aside.

Add a little more olive oil if necessary to the pan, add the prosciutto (or bacon) and peppers and cook until the prosciutto is crispy and the peppers are starting to caramelise and soften.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the wine - let it bubble up and use a wooden spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomatoes, thyme and oregano.

Return the chicken to the pan, add the chicken stock, and bring everything up to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and continue to simmer until the chicken is completely cooked through - this will take about 20-30 minutes.

(If making ahead, remove from the heat at this stage, cool completely, and then refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use.  Reheat over medium heat to a simmer before continuing.)

To complete the dish, add the capers and flat-leaf parsley.  Stir through and serve immediately.

I served this with some crispy, oven-roasted, rosemary potatoes, a fresh, green salad, and a glass of Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, and I will absolutely be making this again - welcome, Giada, it's nice to have you in my home!

Interested in getting to know Giada a bit better?  Then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all been cooking up ....


.... or check out Giada's Kitchen and many of her other titles, available from Amazon, Book Depository UK and Fishpond NZ

Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites    Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California    Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes


  1. I love how colorful this dish is--it looks wonderful--I can almost taste it from just the pictures. Great pick. I think you'll like Giada's Kitchen, I have three of her books and that one is my favorite. ;-)

  2. Hi Sue - Roman-style chicken sounds like something I would make and like. I can also relate to everything you were saying about wanting to make everything from scratch but also recognizing that it's not always possible.

    I can't wait to see what Giada recipes you make next!


  3. Although I actually can't stand most food network chefs, Giada is one that I approve of. Her recipes have never failed me. This chicken dish looks awesome! The flavors are just the kind that I love!

  4. Sue, your Roman chicken must taste wonderful, even though you are not happy with the photos:) (I can relate - too often the light is gone by the time I am done with the dinner).
    I am going to try to get involved, because I like Giada's recipes.
    Great introduction!

  5. I don't know Giada - but I think this dish must have tasted wonderful -
    I am like you, sometimes just to feed the masses I have to take a couple shortcuts.

  6. Sue, this looks awesome! I love chicken with peppers, and I love that your dish is steaming hot - looks delicious and I'd love a dish, please :)

  7. Thanks, Deb, can't wait for "Giada's Kitchen" to arrive. Pretty sure that once I get my hands on that one I'll be buying more :-)

    Hi Veronica - thanks for visiting - yes, I'm sure you would like this dish - hope you try it.

    Joanne - totally share your sentiments, but like you I've always found Giada totally reliable so far.

    Hi Lana - thanks for stopping by. Getting the photos is usually a real challenge for me - I don't have a great space set up for doing that, and usually by the time I get a meal finished I have someone "chomping at the bit" to get into it, so photos are usually flashed off in a real hurry! Hope you join in with us.

    Hi Christy - thanks for visiting - hope you get to know Giada by checking out what some of the others in the group have cooked up. Yes, sometimes life requires that we take a shortcut or two here or there, and I think it's great to have those options available to us. I like to think that by taking a shortcut here or there I can still dish up a great meal without having to resort to pre-packaged frozen meals, etc.

    Thanks Louanne - the chicken and peppers was a great combo, and the little hit of salty capers really made it. Yes, I like that you can tell that this came straight out of the pan - probably the redeeming feature of my otherwise disappointing photos :-)


  8. Sue- I hope you enjoy your copy of Giada's Kitchen. I feel like Giada's Kitchen best combines both Italian and Californian cooking.

    I love that you chose to make Giada's Roman Chicken. This recipe has such rave reviews on the Food Network website and I can't wait to try it. I love the photos with the steam rising off the chicken. Isn't it wonderful to sit down to a plate of hot, steaming food at the end of the day?

  9. Oh my gosh...this looks so perfectly comforting! I'd say it's the ultimate welcome meal =)

  10. I cannot tell you how many times I have made this recipe and yours looks so wonderful...I need to put this in the rotation this week, my mouth is watering just looking at it.

  11. Giada has never let me down either. ☺
    This looks so inviting, and I love the hint of porky goodness in it. Delicious!

  12. Sue this dish and your photo's look truly enticing. I've not yet tried this one, though I did make a Grilled Meats with Saffron Orzo that was to die foor. Putting this one in my "recipes to try" file.

  13. Ciao ! This is Pollo coi Peperoni !! My father in law preferred dish for Ferragosto (an italian Holiday on aug. 15th) Bravissima Sue !!

  14. I agree. There have been very few Giada recipes that have let me down. This looks like something my family would like.

  15. Thanks, Kim - the book just won't arrive soon enough for me :-)! For me, that Californian twist on Italian classics is what epitomises Giada's food so I'm sure I'll find plenty of dishes to cook from the book.

    Heather - thanks - yes makes great comfort food. It's the kind of thing that would be perfect to welcome visitors coming to stay after a long journey.

    Kayte - thanks for stopping by. Having made this, it will definitely be on my "regular rotation" - it's going to get made around here often.

    Natashya - gotta get that bacon in there :-)

    Carla & Michael - thanks for dropping by - wow, grilled meats with saffron orzo wounds wonderful. Hope you try this one.

    Hi Natalia - thank you so much for visiting and letting me know a little more about the dish. I'm off to find out a bit more about Ferragosto now :-)

    MM - thanks for visiting - definitely great family fare.

    I can also confirm now that leftovers taste even better the next day, so there could be some advantage to making in advance.

    Sue :-)

  16. You're dish looks absolutly delicious, and i just found out by Natalia's blog her grandmother was a busy women to;)

  17. Hi Yvette - thanks so much. Yes, I enjoyed learning a little bit more about Giada's family via Natalia's blog too.
    Sue :-)


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