Pollo Alla Barontana – Tuscan chicken!

Thanksgiving is people time…

It’s Thanksgiving time when no one is thinking of great Tuscan recipes for chicken except many Italians and lots of others outside the U.S. who aren’t celebrating our Thanksgiving, and for them the recipe follows almost immediately, but you might enjoy it a week or so after this Thursday. I bring up Thanksgiving because I’ve always thought it’s much more about the people you’re with than the food you’re eating. It’s terrific if you serve up the traditional Norman Rockwell feast complete with four different pies in the oven, but isn’t it much more about whom you’re sitting next to, or across from, at the table?

It may be family, it may be friends (your “family of choice”), or it might be no one at all at a table at Denny’s – with just one or two kind words exchanged between you and the waitperson. Whatever the choice is – and sometimes it seems like no choice at all – I think Thanksgiving is much more a matter of the head and heart than the stomach.

So the supremely un-Thanksgivinglike Pollo Alla Barontana recipe comes from a tiny Tuscan village, St. Barontana, via  Alvoro’s Mamma Toscana cookbook. It’s a snap to make, and you’ll be thanking yourself (and be thanked) once you dig into it. The secret’s in the sauce…

Chicken Barontana – wine, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, olives…

DSC_0184aSumptuous and saucy!

You’ll need, for two:

  • About 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. chicken thighs, legs, and/or breasts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
  • about 3/4 cup mixed pitted olives – green, black, kalamata
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Put the oil in a deep skillet and saute the onion until browned. Add the chicken pieces and brown thoroughly in the oil. Now add the white wine, cover, and cook gently for about 25 minutes.

Uncover, add the garlic, rosemary, olives, and red wine vinegar, and blend well. Cook uncovered over medium low to reduce the sauce to a thick creamy texture – about 5-8 minutes – then serve. How simple is that?


Very short post this week – not sure why. I’m sure I’ll be making up for it… Cheers, Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.