A secondo is traditionally the heartiest course, sometimes called the piatto principale or the main meal. Our polla alla contadina or “farmer’s chicken” is a simple rustic dish that lends credence to the old saying, “in the grand scheme of things, everything is useful,” or “tutto fa brodo.”
Be it different meats and types of fish, including turkey, sausage, pork, steak, stew, beef, salmon, lobster, lamb, chicken, or a roast, with a few choice vegetables at hand, whatever may be lying around an Italian kitchen is ready to be commandeered for use in a quick and tasty braise.
Our main course was simplicity itself and a template for experimenting on our own when we arrived home. In our case, it was chicken and with the judicious choice of ever so forgiving thighs from our butcher, there was little chance of failure.
Denise and our "master chef!"
Polla alla Contadina (Farmer’s Chicken)
INGREDIENTS: 1 medium sized chicken cut into pieces Flour as needed 30 g. butter 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ cup balsamic vinegar 1 red pepper 1 medium red onion 1 sprig of rosemary Salt and pepper to taste
Clean and wash chicken pieces pat dry and lightly flour.
Cook chicken in the butter until golden brown on all sides.
Cut the onion and pepper into thin strips.
Add the onion slices, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, salt, pepper; reduce heat and simmer and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
If the mixture becomes dry add boiling water (or use chicken stock if available) in small amounts to moisten.