Monday night, Betty cooked.
She decided to do chicken in a puttanesca sauce. Some ingredients were purchased in Arezzo, where we spent the afternoon. I think she got the chicken legs and thighs at the local macellaria on the Piazza Baldaccio (pretty much the town square where all the action was, including the Bar/Gelateria Garibaldi, the spot to go to for a pre-dinner drink and munch).
The chicken I saw in Tuscany was all amazing. The skin was much more yellow than the pallid chickens we tend to get here. And the flavour was excellent.
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
First, Betty prepared the puttanesca sauce, then browned the chicken, and put it in the oven to slowly braise. In a separate pan, she braised endives, split lengthwise.
Dinner was excellent. This is three chicken legs (thighs included). You can see how lovely and rich the color is of the chicken.
The growing season for tomatoes is much longer than it is here. The tomatoes are all allowed to ripen on the vine. I don’t think I saw any green tomatoes in any market or supermarket while I was there. They also grow the tomatoes for taste, not transport. Most of them are sold close to where they were grown. The difference in a puttanesca sauce made with these wonderful tomatoes and one made with what we can usually get in Toronto was really stunning. The sweetness and fruitiness of the tomatoes married perfectly with the richness and salt of the anchovies and capers, and the black olives added a roundness and almost a bass note to the music of the dish.
Braised endive had lovely melted cheeeeeeeese on top. Betty valiantly chopped it all to a very fine texture, since the one utensil that seemed to be lacking in our kitchen was a cheese grater.
There was nothing else to do but put it on a plate with some fresh Tuscan bread, and enjoy with a glass of wine from Ravagni‘s vineyards, just down the road!