The October issue of Food and Wine features an article on how to eat and drink like a Roman. It includes several recipes that I plan to try, and I started with this braised chicken and roasted peppers. This is a simple dish, but it was stunningly good.

Roman-style braised chicken

I didn’t have fresh tomatoes, so I used about 2 lbs. of canned San Marzano plum tomatoes. I served the chicken with steamed rice to soak up the delicious sauce.  Instead of charring the whole peppers over a gas flame, I cut off the tops and bottoms, and removed the seeds. I then cut down one side of each pepper, flattened them out, and broiled them until the skins turned black. Once the peppers cooled, they were very easy to peel.

Roasted peppers

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, use white wine with a low sulfite count, preferably one with fewer than 10 parts per million.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

One 4-pound chicken—cut into 8 pieces, breasts halved

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup dry white wine

2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper.

1 yellow bell pepper

Crusty bread, for serving


Heat a large, enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add half of the chicken pieces to the casserole and season them with salt and black pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are evenly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large platter. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

Add the garlic and crushed red pepper to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes along with the chicken and its accumulated juices. Cover the casserole and braise the chicken over low heat, turning once, until the breast pieces are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the breast pieces to a serving bowl. Continue braising until the leg, thigh and wing pieces are done, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer them to the bowl.

Meanwhile, roast the bell peppers directly over a gas flame, turning often, until they are charred all over. Transfer the peppers to a rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, peel the peppers and discard the stems, cores and seeds. Cut the peppers into 1-inch strips.

Boil the sauce in the casserole over high heat until reduced by one-third, 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the casserole. Add the roasted peppers and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Season with salt and black pepper and serve with crusty bread. The braised chicken can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before serving. Serves 4.

From the October 2010 issue of Food and Wine