My favourite Italian Chicken Recipes




Here's my selection of authentic Italian chicken recipes from regional and local traditions.


Italian chicken casserole with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

This Italian chicken casserole with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar makes for an easy and tasty dish. Another great gourmet recipe from Modena based on Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.


Ingredients for 8:

1 free range premium quality chicken

1 carrot

1 onion

1 stalk of celery

1 stock cube

Salt and pepper

1 can of tuna fish in oil, approx. 170 g.

A handful of capers in vinegar

4 anchovies in oil

2 or 3 tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil as required


Preparation:

Place the carrot, celery, onion and stock cube in a large pot with approx. 2 litres of water and bring to the boil. As soon as the water boils, add the cleaned chicken. Cover and simmer.

When the chicken is cooked, remove from the stock, allow it to cool and cur the meat into small pieces (but not too small). Discard the skin.

Place the chicken in a bowl and in the meantime prepare a sauce with the help of a food processor: blend together the drained tuna fish, drained capers, anchovies and olive oil. Blend until you end up with a soft, runny sauce: as for the consistency, you will have to judge how much oil to use so that the sauce is neither too stiff nor too runny.

Finally, add the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, which will lend a subtle hazelnut colour. Stir the sauce gently into the chopped chicken and store it in a container, preferably glass, with an airtight lid or sealed with cling film, and keep in the refrigerator for at least one or two days, remembering to stir every now and again to ensure the flavour of the sauce coats the chicken well.

This is a very convenient dish. You can prepare it well in advance and if you like, you can add another chicken breast to the broth as it cooks, although do bear in mind that breast will cook more quickly. Serve at room temperature, spread over a serving plate on a bed of rocket or lamb’s lettuce dressed with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Just before serving, drizzle a few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar on top for a delicious and fragrant decoration then, if in season, add a touch of colour by sprinkling on a few pomegranate seeds.

When you make the sauce in the food processor, be sparing with the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar or the final result will be cloying; it is much better to add a few extra drops when serving since it adds a wonderful finishing touch and the aroma lends added refinement to the dish.

Do remember when cutting the chicken not to chop it too small. Another tip is to keep the filtered stock and use it to make a tasty risotto, for example with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.





Hearty balsamic chicken

This hearty balsamic chicken is a dish full of flavour and can be easily prepared ahead of time, if required.

Ingredients for 6:

2 breasts of chicken or turkey for cutlets

3 whole eggs

300 g. approx. of breadcrumbs

500 g. of dry white wine

3 tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

4 sage leaves

4 bay leaves

2 cloves of garlic

1 shallot

Good quality groundnut oil for frying

50 g, of extra virgin olive oil

Nutmeg, salt and whole peppercorns


Preparation:

Beat the eggs in a bowl with some salt, pepper and nutmeg then place the cutlets of chicken or turkey breast in the eggs and leave for at least an hour.

Next, dress the cutlets with breadcrumbs and fry in groundnut oil, draining thoroughly on kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Place the olive oil in a small pot and fry the garlic, shallot, bay and sage leaves, then add the peppercorns and the white wine.

Simmer slowly for around 30 minutes before adding the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, then remove from the heat. Season with salt, stir again and souse the cutlets with this hot marinade. Leave them to marinade for at least 48 hours, turning every now and again. Serve at room temperature.

This dish can be prepared ahead of time, especially in summer. It is important to make small cutlets. This dish is ideal served with a seasonal side salad dressed with olive oil and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar or some steamed potatoes, again dressed with good extra virgin olive oil and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.




Healthy chicken recipe with salad, nuts, candied peel and balsamic vinegar

This healthy chicken recipe is a modern take on a very old recipe of the Gonzaga family and during the Renaissance it was made using capon breast.

I think it is marvellous because it is so unusual, yet the flavours are so well balanced.


Ingredients for 6:

500 g. of chicken breast

50 g. approx. of candied lime

50 g. of currants

50 g. of shelled walnuts

50 g. of toasted pine nuts

50 g. or more of sweet pickled carrots

300 g. or more of washed salad leaves (lamb’s lettuce, frisée, roman)

Olive oil as required

Meat or vegetable stock

Vegetables for stock (onion, celery and carrot)
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar as required

Salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice

When in season, pomegranate seeds or red currants


Preparation:

First of all make a meat or vegetable stock then trim any fat off the chicken breast. Heat the stock and as soon as it comes to the boil drop the whole chicken breast into the stock. When the liquid returns to the boil, switch off and leave the meat in the stock until it has completely cooled.

At this point, remove the chicken breast from the stock, bring the latter back to the boil and return the chicken to the stock again, switching off as soon as it boils. This procedure is more difficult to explain than it is to do, and may be done several hours in advance.

Wash the salad leaves and drain them thoroughly.

Using a small, non-stick pan, boil a tablespoon of water with a tablespoon of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar for a few minutes until the sauce reduces down slightly, then add the previously boiled carrots, cut into rounds. Stew the carrots for a few minutes and then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Prepare individual portions, arranging a bed of salad leaves on plates, topped with the roughly chopped walnuts, currants toasted pine nuts, finely chopped candied lime and sweet pickled carrots.

Next make the vinaigrette: put the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice in a glass jar and shake vigorously. For convenience’s sake, you can actually do all the above-described steps well in advance.

A few minutes before serving your guests, remove the chicken from the stock and bring the latter to the boil once again. As soon as it boils, put the chicken back in the pot and turn off the heat.

Working quickly with a very sharp knife, and using some tin foil to protect your fingers since the meat will be hot, cut the chicken breast into small slices (crossways, as if it were a salami)and arrange it on top of the plated salads.

Dress with the vinaigrette and garnish with pomegranate seeds or red currants before serving.

The cooking technique is very useful because it allows you to enjoy meat that is cooked but still slightly pink inside. Use just enough stock to cover the chicken breast and no more because if you use too much liquid it will take too long to come to the boil and in the end the dish for a busy hostess since everything can be organized ahead of time.

If you prefer, you can dispense with individual portions and arrange a large bed of salad on a serving plate with the various ingredients and the sliced chicken placed attractively on top. Try it... I guarantee this healthy chicken recipe will impress your guests. The best way to make the vinaigrette is to place all the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and then shake vigorously to emulsify.




Chicken parmesan with ham


This easy chicken parmesan recipe comes from Emilia-Romagna. It's quick and tasty... perfect for nights when you don't feel like cooking!


Ingredients for 4:

4 small chicken breasts, skinned and boned

Flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, for dredging

50 g. of butter

3-4 leaves fresh sage

4 thin slices of Parma ham, or cooked ham, cut in half

50 g. of freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preparation:

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise to make two flat fillets of approximately the same thickness. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, and shake off the excess.

Preheat the grill. Heat the butter in a large heavy frying pan or skilled with the sage leaves. Add the chicken on one layer, and cook over low to moderate heat until golden brown on both sides, turning as necessary. This will take about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the heat, and arrange on a flameproof serving dish or grill pan. Place one piece of ham on each chicken fillet, and top with the grated Parmesan. Grill for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Enjoy!




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