Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I wouldn't say there's exactly an autumn chill in the air, but it is a little cooler, Sicilians are beginning to return to the city and I am starting to want spezzatini. Last night I decided I wanted a spicy spezzatino, too, so I invented this chicken one:

Spezzatino di pollo di fine estate

Serves 4 generously

2 oz butter and 2 tablesp olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast [if you are in Italy] or 2 if you are in the UK [where each half is sold as "one breast"], cut into bite-sized pieces. [In Italy, just ask the butcher to cut it for spezzatino.]
1 dried red chilli pepper [or 2 very small ones]
4 plum tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
1 tablesp 'strattu or tomato concentrate
570 ml [1 pint] water
250 gr peeled aubergines in oil, drained. [People make a preserve of these here but we can buy them, too.]
3 peppers of different colours, sliced
500 gr potatoes [no need to peel unless you want to] sliced
seasalt and black pepper
2 teasp sugar

In a wide, high-sided pan, soften the onion in the butter and oil.  Add the chicken pieces and dried chilli pepper and cook, stirring, till the chicken is lightly browned on all sides. Add the tomatoes, aubergines, 'strattu, some seasoning and the water, stir everything and continue to cook for about 10 mins. Now add the peppers and potatoes, give everything a good stir, turn the heat down and continue to cook, with the lid on, for 45 mins. 

Heat the oven to 180C and, at the end of the 45 mins, take the chilli pepper out and transfer the mixture to a Pyrex-type roasting dish. Sprinkle the sugar over the top and put the dish in the oven for 20 mins. [Keep an eye on it during this time.]

Serve with a green salad.

Buon appetito.


Whispering Walls said...


Jenny Woolf said...

Looks and sounds delicious!

Unknown said...

wow! I didn't realize how hungry I am! Could you kindly send a bit of coolness here -- it is 92 F at the moment.

Lee said...

We're just coming to the end of an extremely mild winter down here.

This winter wasn't really cold enough to make too many warming dishes; but this chicken one of yours is very tempting.

James Higham said...

Can't get cool for another month - too many things to do.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Something for us to try as the weather changes here too. Food for the Autumn/Wintery nights. Take care xo

Claude said...

It looks, and sounds, much too delicious to resist.Thanks for another tempting recipe.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Grazie, WW. Thank you, Jenny. Hi, Nick. It's been really hot here again today. Hi, Lee. Glad you like it. Hi, James. How's the boat coming along? Thanks, Anne. x Merci, chère Claude.

nikinpos said...

Yum, sounds good and I can find most of the ingredients in the garden!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Nicki.


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