Inspired by what the land produces, Tuscan chicken is roasted with simple vegetables for big flavors.
I just returned from an amazing culinary tour of one of the most spectacular regions in Italy, Toscana. My home-base was in an old farm house converted to a country villa in the rural valley of the mountains called Monticello Amiata.
I have spent time in Florence and around the Chianti region, but this trip I wanted to explore the actual place where the food comes from, so I picked the Grosseto region, where the vegetables are grown fresh, the cows, pigs and chickens roam freely, and the olive oil and wine, come from the vineyard and olive groves on the property. As with most places in the country, we had a wooden oven, which in my opinion is the best way to roast meats, and the ONLY way to make a proper pizza, since the temperature reaches 900°F!
Sunday in Tuscany is the traditional day for the family to get together and spend the day cooking a large meal. I went the the local butcher, Enrico, who uses only meats from the area, and bought a beautiful whole chicken, to make this recipe. I went to the garden and gathered some potatoes, carrots, and bunches of fresh rosemary and started my recipe. The people who live here are incredibly lucky to have the freshest ingredients, literally at their fingertips. Nothing travels more than a few kilometers to get to you. So needless to say, the roast chicken was the best I have ever had, flavorful, tender and juicy.
You can recreate this recipe by going to your butcher and getting the freshest organic free-range chicken, organic veggies and roast them in your oven, and you can experience an easy and special dish from my trip to Tuscany.
- 1 free range chicken
- 6 red potatoes whole
- 4 large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 2 red chili peppers whole
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 20 rosemary sprigs
- Preheat oven to 375º
- Sprinkle some olive oil in a roasting pan and place 14 of the rosemary sprigs at the bottom of the pan.
- Place the chicken on top of the rosemary sprigs and massage it with the olive oil, season generously inside and out with salt and pepper.
- Cut the onion in half and put it in the cavity of the chicken with 4 rosemary sprigs.
- Place 2 of the remaining rosemary sprigs in between each wing
- Place the potatoes, chili peppers and carrots around the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the wine in the pan.
- Bake uncovered 1 hour and 30 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from heat, and baste with the juices and drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.