If, like Jamie Oliver, you think that Italian food isn’t about Michelin-starred chefs but rather about home-cooked recipes, then tune into Jamie Cooks Italy from Wednesday 2 January 2019 at 20:00. The show follows Jamie and his best friend and mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, as they travel from sun-drenched Sicily to the snowy Alps to meet the superstars of the Italian kitchen – the mammas and nonnas of Italy. Their journey uncovers recipes, which have been handed down through the generations, traditional Italian dishes that transform the simple into the sublime.
If all this tasty talk has made you hungry try out Jamie Oliver’s fragrant Salina Chicken recipe, below:
Beautiful, scented soft aubergines & tomatoes with capers
Total time: 2 hours
3 aubergines (750g total)
1 x 1.4kg whole free-range chicken
2 cloves of garlic
3 small fresh red chillies
1 cinnamon stick
4 sprigs of fresh woody herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, bay
50g baby capers in brine
2 red onions
200g ripe cherry tomatoes
50g pine nuts
4 sprigs of fresh basil
Trim the aubergines, chop into random 5cm chunks and wedges, place in a large bowl and season generously from a height with sea salt. Put aside.
Joint the chicken. Drizzle all the pieces with oil, place in a large shallow pan on a medium-high heat, skin side down, to get golden on all sides, then remove to a large platter.
Wipe the salt off the aubergines and add to the pan, turning until lightly golden on all sides. Remove the aubergines to the platter and reduce the heat under the pan to low.
Peel and slice the garlic, prick the chillies and place both in the pan with the cinnamon, woody herbs and capers. Stir and fry for a couple of minutes while you peel and finely slice the onions, then stir them into the pan, too. Cook for 15 minutes, or until starting to caramelize, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Squeeze the tomatoes in a bowl of water to remove the seeds – a fine nonna trick to prevent you getting splattered – then tear them into the pan.
Put the chicken and aubergines back in, drizzle over any resting juices, then pour in 600ml of water. Sprinkle over the pine nuts, then squeeze over the lemon juice. Cook at the bottom of the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden.
Pick over the basil leaves and serve with a nice big bowl of lemony couscous.
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