Pollo Della Nonna
Pollo Della Nonna translates to Grandmother’s Chicken. In our family, many of us also refer to this meal as chicken-in-the-pot. This recipe is a simple, hearty and satisfying one-pot wonder that gets better the longer it simmers on the stove.
Growing up, I sat at the kitchen table and watched my Nonni Maria Julia cook. Her repertoire of recipes seemed endless – raviolis, tortellini, roasted artichokes, tender green beans, salads fresh from the garden and every meal finished with a fruit pie or tart – of course with peaches and pears from our family’s orchard. She was a chef by heart and by flavor, recipe cards simply didn’t exist in her kitchen. I began to learn her classic recipes as a young girl, practicing alongside my Aunt Lorraine as we continued to cook together over the years. And now this recipe is familiar, second nature and much-loved in our family. Even our father Angelo has made this meal based on memory, following the same ingredients; seasoning and cooking until it reaches that just-right-texture of tender dark meat and flavorful broth.
Most meals in our home are flexible with wine pairings. More often than not there is a bottle of red and white on the table, and I’m the first to encourage to drink what you like! Truthfully for me, it’s hard to find a meal that doesn’t seem enhanced by a well-balanced Chardonnay, especially one that offers full-bodied texture and acidity that brightens the flavors of the food. When I cooked this recipe last night to document the instructions, we opened the 2016 Sangiacomo Green Acres Chardonnay from our family’s inaugural vintage of estate wines. The pairing was very delicious. The mouthfeel of this wine is broad and generous with subtle oak and buttery accents that draw out the earthy and savory notes of the chicken’s broth. I am also particularly fond of cooking with wine and find that it is an easy way to boost flavor in any meal.
Sharing good wine and food over a hearty meal is the heartbeat of our family. May this recipe bring your family to the table and offer the same comforts and joy it has given our family for four generations. Salute! – Mia Sangiacomo Pucci
Pollo Della Nonna
Prep time 15 minutes | Total time 1 hour or longer
4-6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
4 chicken legs
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided in half
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped to 2-3 tbsp
4 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 cups cremini mushrooms, stemmed and halved or sliced
1 14 oz. can of black olives (medium or large)
1 cup chardonnay
½ cup marsala
2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
parsley for garnish
To prepare the chicken, pat dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a 5-quart Dutch Oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat until it is hot by not smoking. Working in batches, brown the chicken until golden and crispy on both sides, adding oil as needed. Begin with the skin side down, turning and rearranging occasionally in the pot to evenly distribute the heat. About 10 minutes. Transfer chicken from the pot and set aside.
In the same pot, reduce heat to medium and add 2 tbsp of butter. When melted, add garlic and chopped herbs. After a minute add mushrooms and let soften 1-2 minutes. Add marsala and white wine, deglazing the bottom of the pot and scraping up any browned bits from the chicken. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Add 1 tsp of salt and season to taste.
Return chicken pieces to the pot and add black olives. Simmer partially covered in the sauce until chicken is fully cooked and and fork-tender. Minimum cooking time is 25-30 minutes, or reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 1 hour or longer.
To serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a large platter. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley.
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