This is a favorite at my home, especially when my daughter Tanya and her husband Corrado come and visit from Prato. In our restaurants, patrons love it, and I am sure that it will be a favorite in your home. You will need two large skillets to fit all the ingredients in this recipe, or the ingredients can be easily halved and prepared in one skillet.
- 4 pounds spring chicken parts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds small (about 1 1/2-inch) red potatoes, halved
- 3 small onions (about 6 ounces)
- 2 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 whole peperoncino (dried hot red pepper), broken in half, or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 20 pitted Calamata olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
In a large bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Heat two large (at least 12-inch) non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron pans over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down and cover the skillets. Cook the chicken, turning it once, until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Move the chicken pieces to one side of the skillet. Add the potato halves cut side down to the clear side of the skillet and cook on medium heat 15 minutes, turning them and the chicken pieces often, until evenly browned. (At this point, both the chicken and potatoes should be crisp and brown). Meanwhile, peel the onions and cut them in quarters through the core, leaving the core intact to hold the quarters together while they cook. Reduce the heat to medium-low, divide the onions, rosemary, olives and peperoncino between the skillets and cook, covered, until the onions have softened and the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. Stir the contents of the skillets gently several times as they cook. Drain the oil from the pan before serving chicken and potatoes, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. Note: Cut each spring chicken into four pieces: 2 breasts/wings and two legs. You can substitute two large (about 1 ¾ pounds each) Cornish for the spring chickens. Cut the hens into 8 pieces each: 2 wings. 2 breasts, 2 thighs, and 2 legs. Cooking time will be approximately the same.