Pollo ai Peperoni
You may have noticed the last few days I've been spotlighting Lola, my new friend from Italy who writes a wonderful blog called Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino - Personal Thoughts On All Things Tasty. Lola is a very good writer and if you are into Italian cuisine and culture like I am, I think you owe it to yourself to take a peak at her blog.
I was doing just that, reading about her poultry vendor, Massimo, "her pollaralo" who sells not only chicken but turkey, rabbit, hare, and game birds. She describes how she has been going to this market since she was a little girl and now takes her 4-year-old son there. It's a craftily written piece that ties the past to the present and finishes with a great recipe for Pollo ai Peperoni or Chicken with Peppers, a classic Roman dish that Massimo handed down to Lola's mother 25 years ago. Very cool.
I prepared this recipe for some friends on Sunday night and served it with lasagna I pulled out of the freezer that needed to be eaten. We dined outside under the pergola enjoying a perfect September evening, not too warm - not too cool.
I served the lasagna first as the Primo (first course) and the chicken second (secondo) along with a salad and lots of wine. The lasagna was good but a little runny, however the Pollo ai Peperoni was extraordinary. The flavor of the slow cooked peppers combined with the chicken, tomatoes and other ingredients worked together this night just like they must have generations ago. Best of all, the leftovers were even better the next night.
I doubled the amount of chicken but not the peppers. This may have been a mistake but nobody noticed and more importantly, nobody complained. There were no requests for seconds but I think that had more to do with serving a big slice of lasagna first. Lola warned me the way Italians eat is much different then we do here in the US and it takes some getting used to.
So here are some photos of how I put this recipe together but if you would like the recipe along with Lola's interesting story about the dish, go to Pollo ai Peperoni.
You may also want to read my Interview with Lola.