When my grandmother Nina's enamelled roaster simmered half covered on the wood-fired kitchen stove, we knew that we would soon be enjoying a delicious meal. Grandma Nina’s braised chicken with rosemary was served, meaning it had to be Sunday!Jump to Recipe
Little secrets of braised meat
Braised chicken or pollo in padella (translated: chicken in the pan) is one of the most popular pan-fried dishes in Italy. The chicken becomes tender and juicy if you pay proper attention to the roasting process. The secret lies in slow cooking. The lid is not closed completely and the amount of liquid must be strictly monitored. There should only ever be as little liquid in the pot as is necessary to prevent the meat from burning. The meat must not boil in liquid.
To make things easier, Grandma Nina put a small jug of water next to the cooker. As soon as the liquid in the pot had boiled away, she added the water by the spoonful. She took care not to pour water or wine over the meat, but into the roaster. And with a wooden spoon, she used to scrape the meat off the bottom and sides of the pot. There is no other cooking method that allows you to prepare more tasty and juicy braised meat. Just right for a Sunday or public holiday!
For chicken, lamb or veal
This cooking method is equally suitable for lamb or veal (preferably a boneless shoulder of veal). For a shoulder of veal, spread the rosemary on the meat, grind some black pepper over it, roll up the meat and tie it with kitchen twine. If you are cutting a leg of lamb or veal, prick the meat several times with a sharp, slender knife and insert the rosemary twig, broken into several pieces.
Grandma Nina’s braised chicken with rosemary
- 6 chicken legs, large
- 1 onion
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 150 ml wine, dry white
- pepper, black, from the mill
- water, as required
- Peel and finely chop the onion and slowly fry it in a frying pan or in a wide pot with a lid – the meat should just fit in – with oil and butter. Chop the rosemary and spread it on the meat, grind some black pepper over it. Fry the chicken meat on a medium heat and season with salt.
- Pour in the wine and scrape the meat off the bottom and sides with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat so that the liquid only simmers slightly. Put the lid on but not completely and leave the meat to braise for 1 ½ to 2 hours until it feels very tender when you pierce it with a fork. Turn the chicken over occasionally and add 2 to 3 tbsp of water as soon there is no more liquid in the pot.
- Put the chicken legs on a chopping board and cut them up. If there is no more liquid in the pot, add 50 ml of water, switch to a high temperature and scrape off the roasting residues from the sides and bottom while the water evaporates. If there is too much liquid in the pot – there should be about 1 tablespoon full per portion at the end – reduce it over a high heat. Pour the stock over the chicken pieces and serve immediately.