When you think of Italian food, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of pasta, pizza, or a simple grilled chicken breast. But what about the classic Italian chicken dishes?
Chicken has become an Italian staple, and the cooks have come up with some interesting ways to cook it. Chicken casseroles are popular, but they can be boring. Chicken and pasta is another dish that has been around for hundreds of years. Risotto is, of course, a staple of Italian cooking. But what about the third option?
From the bistecca alla fiorentina (rosemary-marinated steak) to the pollo alla diavola (chicken in a cream sauce), Italian cuisine has a long history of cooking with fowl. But no cuisine is complete without a little culinary nuance. Italian wines are the perfect accompaniment, and that is why we’ve put together two classic Italian chicken dishes and the wines to pair with them.
Italy’s lasting and developing vinous culture is often the primary emphasis, since it has had a significant impact on winemaking throughout the globe. The country’s culinary traditions, on the other hand, have undoubtedly had a similar effect. Learn more about three Italian recipes that use easy-to-find and easy-to-love chicken parts and have become American culinary classics.
Between 1880 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914, millions of Italians immigrated to the United States, permanently altering the nation in a variety of ways, not least in terms of wine and cuisine. Many Italian recipes have subsequently become a lasting part of the American culinary canon, including chicken cacciatore, piccata, and saltimbocca.
While there are many varieties, read on to learn about the key components of each, as well as information to help you pair them with wine effectively.
Cacciatore de Pollo
What It Is: Today, the term “cacciatore” refers to a broad range of preparations. “Practically everything but a henna rinse has been given to the chicken that goes by this name,” stated James Beard, an American chef and cookbook author. Cacciatore, on the other hand, means “hunter” in Italian. It’s also often understood in the culinary world to mean chicken or rabbit cooked with tomatoes, herbs, onions, and garlic, a reference to hunters’ use of garlic and pungent herbs to season game. Several central Italian areas, including Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, claim to be the birthplace of cacciatore, although the dish has almost as many variations as chefs.
How To Pair It: A young Sangiovese, like as Rosso di Montalcino or Chianti, would be a safe choice regardless of your precise preparation. Sangiovese is a classic tomato sauce wine because it has roasted tomato aromas and can stand up to garlic, spices, and dry herbs. Primitivo is another possibility. The popular Puglian pour goes well with roasted, braised, and grilled meats, particularly those with intense tastes.
Jens Johnson took the photo, while Elizabeth Bell styled the food.
Piccata de Pollo
What It Is: Piccata translates to “sharp” or “piquant.” Many various types of beef may be utilized in Italy, with the spicy addition of lemon and capers being the common thread. Piccata Milanese, a regional Lombardy dish comprising thinly pounded veal, chicken, or thin-sliced swordfish cooked rapidly in butter and seasoned simply with lemon and capers, is most closely resembled in the United States. In the 1960s, when veal consumption in the United States began to decrease, chicken became more popular. It’s now the most popular piccata in the United States.
What To Pair It With: Lemon and capers provide a layer of complexity to the dish. The zesty bursts of taste need a wine with equal amounts of acidity. Chicken cooked with large quantities of butter or oil, on the other hand, requires a wine with some structure. A lighter-bodied red wine would add tannins to assist cut the fat and freshen the palate, while an oak-aged Chardonnay would blend nicely with the lemon and butter components. The dark-skinned Sicilian grape Nerello Mascalese provides a solution. It produces crisp, light-bodied wines with strong aromas and flavors, as well as notes of fresh red fruit, herb, and spice. Also try Valtellina Superiore, a light-bodied Nebbiolo-based wine produced in the Lombardy highlands that may be a good alternative to Barolo or Barbaresco.
It’s What: Saltimbocca, which means “jump in the mouth,” is a vibrant dish prepared with veal topped with prosciutto and sage. Many people think of it as a Roman classic, although scholars believe it originated in Brescia, in the Lombardy area. Regardless, it has become a national favorite in Italy. In the United States, veal has mostly been replaced by chicken, but flattened pork cutlets are still a popular variant. The chicken may be cooked flat or roulade-style. Sage is substituted with basil in certain variations, and cheese is also a common ingredient.
How to Serve It: Saltimbocca contains a lot of flavor. You’ll want something with a lot of body and passion, but also enough acid to cut through the more complex characteristics. With saltimbocca, the white mixes of Collio, a district near the Slovenian border in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, may be lovely. They’re elegant, with refreshing acidity and nuanced minerality, and they’re bold and structured. Timorasso, a lesser-known Piedmont white, is another intriguing option. It’s intense and full-bodied, with tastes of creamy stone fruit, cooked apple, and wildflower honey, as well as a savory herbal undertone that hints at sage.
On July 30, 2021, it was published.
Chicken is a versatile meal—it can be eaten plain, with pasta, or in a dish as simple as a salad. In fact, poultry is the most popular meat in America, and it’s eaten by half of the population at least once a week. Chicken can be consumed by the pound or served in smaller portions, allowing you to have a little bit of variety with every meal. It’s also a great choice for when you’re watching your weight, which is why you should consider cooking with chicken instead of beef, which is more calorie-dense.. Read more about venison wine pairing and let us know what you think.
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