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Pollo in umido con le olive – chicken with olives


I’ve been fine-tuning this recipe for a long time now, and I consider it as definitive. The dish is quite straightforward, and you only need a few ingredients, but these should be of top quality. So, buy the best chicken you can find/afford, look for taggiasche olives, and a decent bottle of dry, white wine, that you will also drink with the finished dish.

In umido refers to the cooking technique, meaning something like moist. You have to moisten the chicken continuously during the cooking process with the wine. This will add several layers of taste. If you added all the wine at once, you would not achieve the same result (the same idea is behind risotto preparation, where not all of the stock is added in one go, but ladle by ladle).


  • chicken cut up in 8 pieces
  • finely chopped odori, consisting of onion, celery, carrot and flat leaf parsley (approximately 1 tablespoon each) and a clove of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 dl white wine
  • 100 grams taggiasca olives, drained

Fry the chicken in the olive oil until browned all over. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the flame, and add the odori. Sweat for another 5 minutes, and then add a little wine. Let the wine evaporate, and then add again some wine. Continue doing this for the complete cooking time (approximately 40 minutes). 10 minutes before the end of the cooking, add the olives. At the end, you should have some liquid left in the pan, which will be very concentrated and almost of a syrupy consistency.

Serve with a simple green salad and bread to mop up the juices.

Posted in main dishes.

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