The sweetness of the peppers, the smokiness of the prosciutto, and freshness from the basil — expect an explosion of flavors in every serving of Roman-Style Chicken (also known as Pollo Alla Romana). No need to travel to Rome to experience this traditional dish. Give it a try!
Aside from Gnocchi Alla Romana, this authentic dish from Rome is a regular in our home.
Sometimes called ‘Roman Chicken’ or ‘Chicken Romana’, the locals typically serve this delicious dish during summer — when tomatoes and bell peppers are in season. But I don’t care; I make this the whole year-round in Stockholm.
Now you can do the same!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE CHICKEN ROMANA
CAN I USE ANY KIND OF PEPPER?
Bell peppers are the only types you should use — and you can use any color EXCEPT green bell peppers.
Red, yellow, orange; they all turn sweet when roasted, but not the green ones. The slight bitterness in its flavor does not go well with Roman Chicken.
HOW TO MAKE POLLO ALLA ROMANA
Start by preheating the oven to 225°C (435°F) and preparing the bell peppers for roasting. Place bell peppers on a baking tray, pour and rub half a tablespoon of olive oil on them (photo 1).
Place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or just until you see their skin starting to turn brown. Once the peppers have cooled down, peel them, remove the membrane and seeds, and chop them into half-an-inch width.
While the peppers are roasting, you can continue with seasoning the chopped chicken with salt and pepper (photo 2).
Using a large pan or skillet, pour the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is ready, start browning the chicken. Leave some space in between (photo 3).
Remove the chicken and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium and add garlic and onion. Cook for a few minutes until they softened.
Add the prosciutto. Mix and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the browned chicken back into the pan (photo 4).
Add salt, pepper, peperoncino, tomato paste, and tomatoes. Mix to combine and add torn basil leaves (photo 5).
Mix and turn the heat back to medium-high. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a boil. Adjust flame to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is cooked (about 20 to 25 minutes).
Take the pan off the heat and add roasted peppers and balsamic vinegar. Mix (photo 6).
Serve, garnish with more fresh basil leaves, if desired.
TOP TIPS FOR PREPARING ROMAN-STYLE CHICKEN
- You can also grill the peppers directly on the stovetop, or outside. Stop cooking them as soon as you see blisters on their skins.
- Do not overcook the peppers, there should still be a bit of bite left on them. It gives Chicken Romana a nice contrast in texture.
- You can slice the prosciutto differently. I used to slice them thinly since that’s how I usually buy them from the counter. But then I realize I prefer them cubed. 🙂
- You can use whatever type of tomatoes you have. Try to use fresh ones, though, not canned tomatoes.
- Do not skip the balsamic vinegar at the end. It provides a different kind of ‘sweetness’ to the dish — one that gives Pollo Alla Romana that distinct taste.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE CHICKEN RECIPES LIKE CHICKEN ROMANA, YOU WILL SURELY LIKE THESE POSTS –
- Easy Chicken Cacciatore
- Spanish Garlic Chicken (Pollo Al Ajillo)
- Thai Ginger Chicken
- Spanish Sweet & Sticky Wings
- Creamy Honey Mustard Chicken
OR IF YOU WANT IDEAS FOR MAIN DISH RECIPES, THEN HEAD STRAIGHT TO MY MAINS COLLECTION!
Roman-Style Chicken (Pollo Alla Romana)
- 1 kg chicken, rinsed and chopped
- 3 & 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red bell pepper, (or two medium)
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, (or two medium)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped thinly
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 3/4 cup prosciutto, cubed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 12 pcs cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 15 pcs fresh basil leaves, torn into halves (plus more for garnish)
- 1 & 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper, to season
- dash peperoncino, (or chili flakes)
Preparing the Bell Peppers:
- Preheat oven to 225°C (435°F).
- Place the bell peppers on an ovenproof tray or plate and rub them with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Place the plate in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the skin starts turning dark.
- One the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skin, membrane and seeds and cut them lengthwise, 1/2 inch wide. Set aside.
- While the peppers are still in the oven, though, you can proceed with the rest of the steps.
Making Roman Chicken:
- Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet or pan, over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is ready, start browning the chicken. Do this in batches, to leave enough space between the pieces of chicken.
- Take the browned chicken out of the pan and set them aside.
- Once you have finished with the chicken, adjust heat to medium. Add garlic and onion.
- Cook until onion has softened a bit. Add prosciutto and mix.
- Add the chicken back into the pan.
- Add salt, pepper, peperoncino, tomato paste, and tomatoes. Mix to combine.
- Add torn basil leaves and mix.
- Adjust the heat back into medium-high and cover the pan with a lid.
- Bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
- Take the pan out of the heat and add the chopped, roasted peppers. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and mix to combine.
- Serve, and add more fresh basil, if preferred.
- Use red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, but NEVER green. Its slight bitterness does not go well with this chicken dish.
- Instead of roasting, you can grill the peppers directly on stovetop, or an outside grill (especially during summer).
- Make sure the peppers are not overcooked. There should still be a bit of crunch in them.
- You can slice the prosciutto thinly if you prefer.
- Any type of tomato will work, but fresh ones are better than canned for this Italian dish.
- Do not skip the drizzling (and mixing) of balsamic vinegar in the end. It makes a significant difference in the flavor of Chicken Romana.