This chicken with bell pepper recipe is truly a typical summer one. The lively colours of the peppers and tomato create a unique blend that you can really appreciate only if you can find fresh sun ripened vegetables.
It is a typical Roman dish, and there is a whole generation of Roman’s who are in their sixties that can still remember meals eaten on the beach, with their mums bringing this pot wrapped in a dish-cloth.
Nowadays, modern recipes add more ingredients, rosemary, sage and garlic in the chicken, and later bell peppers are added in the same pot.
I preferred following an “old school one”, I do not like the idea of adding rosemary and sage to peppers, I think that my recipe is simpler but better.
If you are interested in watching a short video shot in the 1960s, you’ll find some scenes interesting to watch. Do not even make the effort to try to understand it, the cook speaks with a “Roman dialect”, and do not even think of touching or biting vegetables and fruits in the market, or the police will fine you and the vendor.. hygienic rules have changed a lot since then.
I love the idea of cooking the meat and the vegetables apart, and joining them in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Brown the chicken pieces in a heavy pot with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the meat is golden brown, add the wine and season the meat with salt and black pepper. Allow the wine to evaporate. It is important to add salt and pepper with the wine because it enhances the flavour and you use less salt. Wait until the wine has completely evaporated before adding the chopped tomatoes. Cook over medium low heat for a couple of hours with the lid on, and add some water or stock if needed.
In another pot sauté the onion with the remaining oil, and when it becomes golden add the peppers. Season with salt and black pepper. Cover with the lid and let it cook for half an hour. Remove the lid and let it cook for another 20 minutes, then add them to the pot with the chicken and cook meat and peppers together for 15 minutes.