The marinade was from her Pollo frito alla Fiorentina, Florentine fried chicken with lemon and parsley. But the cooking was from her Pollo alla cacciatora, Hunter's chicken, which also uses parsley, as well as onion, garlic , celery and white wine - but no tomatoes, unlike most other versions of hunter's chicken I've seen.
Pollo alla Karori (with homage to Ada Boni)
Chicken pieces, trimmed of loose fatty bits and loose bits of skin (4 drumsticks and 4 thighs, all with skin on, is a good combination for 4 people)
For the marinade:
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp lemon juice (I used the salty juice from a jar of my preserved lemons)
salt and pepper (I didn't need any more salt)
2 tsp finely chopped Italian flat-leaved parsley
Mix well and cover the chicken pieces with this marinade. Leave for at least 2 hours before cooking.
For the sauce and cooking:
Olive oil for frying
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tender sticks celery, or a bunch of lovage leaves and stalks (this gives the flavour without any stringy bits)
2-3 sprigs flat-leaved parsley
salt and pepper
150 ml dry white wine
- Set oven to 180C, fan forced, or 190 without fan. Take chicken pieces out of marinade, shake well and pat them a little with paper towel to dry them slightly. Then, as Ada puts it, "Place in frying pan some olive oil" - or better, use a pan that can also go in the oven. Fry the pieces in two batches until they are thoroughly browned on all sides. Remove and keep warm.
- Add a little more oil and gently fry the onion, garlic, celery and parsley until soft. Add white wine. Cook for a few minutes to reduce a little, then add the remaining marinade. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Add chicken pieces, put pan in oven uncovered, and bake until chicken is tender and cooked right through, but not dried out - about 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven and how large the pieces are. Baste chicken pieces with the sauce twice during cooking.
- Remove pieces and keep warm while you degrease the sauce - I carefully place a double-folded piece of thick paper towel on the surface to absorb the excess fat, doing it twice if necessary. If there is too much sauce or it seems too thin, reduce it a little on the hob. Check seasoning again
You can either put the chicken pieces back in the sauce, or serve the sauce separately, along with whatever kind of potatoes you prefer. I baked small red-skinned golden-hearted potatoes in a separate roasting tin on a lower shelf while the chicken was cooking - all they needed was a little oil and salt. We had pieces of preserved lemon with this, and a green salad, with a pinot gris. The light, summery celery/parsley/lemon flavours were a great success (she said modestly). Look for the next post (China!) in late January.