An easy, classic, Italian dish for early fall. How is it different from Pollo alla Cacciatora, you may ask? The answer to which is, not very. Pollo alla Cacciatora, at least as I make it, has a more blended set of vegetables; Pollo alla Romana brings the peppers strongly to the fore. Roasting and peeling the peppers adds a fair bit of time to the operation, but it really does improve them.
Good Italian bread and a crisp salad will round this out nicely, although rice or pasta are good choices to accompany it as well.
1 hour 30 minutes – 1 hour prep time
4 to 6 large (700 grams; 1 1/2 pounds) pointed red peppers
4 large chicken thighs or small chicken legs
2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
a sprig or 2 of fresh rosemary or thyme
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup white wine or chicken stock
6 to 8 medium (700 grams; 1 1/2 pounds) ripe red tomatos
Wash the peppers and place them on a tray to fit under the broiler. Broil the peppers until charred, turning and moving them as the cook to char them as evenly as possible. When they are charred all over, set them in a container and cover them to let them cool.
Once the peppers are cool, remove the cores and seeds. Peel them and cut them into large bite-sized pieces. If you like – and I think it is a good idea – you can prepare the tomatoes as well by blanching them in boiling water for 1 minute, then peeling them and chopping them coarsely.
Heat the bacon fat and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces. If you are using whole legs, they should be cut into sections first. Brown them well on both sides. While they brown, peel and mince the garlic.
Add the garlic and sprigs of herbs to the chicken, and stir them about for a minute. Add the pepper pieces and stir in well. Add the wine or chicken stock, and the chopped tomatoes and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces and leave the lid off now; let the chicken simmer for another 15 minutes or so, until tender and most of the liquid evaporated. Serve with bread, rice, or pasta.
Last year at this time I made Cauliflower with Spiced Tomato Sauce.