From her home in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Be My Guest host Giada has shared the recipe for a dish many of you will be familiar with – her famous ‘Pollo al Chianti’, or chicken in red wine. We may not be able to visit Giada physically right now, but with this simple yet delicious Tuscan speciality, we’re still able to enjoy some of the delicious flavours of the region.
Why is this recipe so important to you?
This recipe reminds me of my childhood. It is a traditional recipe that has been in my family for more than 9 generations, always passed down from mother to daughter. It is very special to me.
What ingredients do you need to cook this dish?
The best thing about pollo al chianti, is that it is incredibly simple and doesn’t require any complex ingredients. You will need:
- Chicken legs
- 1 clove of garlic (optional)
- a skewer of rosemary
- salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- red wine (Chianti if you have it as this is a Tuscan wine)
What are the instructions for cooking this dish?
1. Cut the chicken into 2 pieces (skin-on) and generously season with salt & pepper. Massage the meat to let the chicken absorb the seasoning.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy cast iron skillet with garlic and rosemary and brown the chicken on each side, until it is dark brown in colour
3. Pour the wine and let it boil for a few seconds, then reduce the heat and let it simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is thick and reduced.
4. Once cooked, serve with a simple side salad and a fresh loaf of bread
Why is cooking such an important part of your life?
Cooking is an important part of my heritage, both for my country and for my family. I find it so rewarding, and I’m so lucky that I am able to cook not just to keep my family traditions alive, but to also be able to do something that I love as a business. To be able to share my love and passion for cooking with all those who visit my home, I never take it for granted.
How is cooking helping you cope with the current situation?
Cooking is a part of my everyday life and that helps in coping with this crazy situation. It also gives me a daily routine and pushes me to improve and move forward constantly. Cooking also involves lots of love and passion and makes me feel happy in myself.