Chef Jamie Adams is the culinary mind behind il Giallo Osteria & Bar and G’s Pizzeria in Sandy Springs, as well as Lagarde American Eatery in Chamblee (with another location planned for Milton).
Previously, Adams spent almost 20 years with Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, working first at Pricci and then the former restaurant Veni Vidi Vici, where he grew his reputation as a top Atlanta chef. He also runs a chief band called CJ & the Doughboys.
Adams shares his recipe for “Chicken alla Romana,” a traditional Italian dish. He said he was traveling with his family in Italy and stopped into a restaurant outside the city of Benevento.
“The place was huge, packed to the gills,” Adams said. There, he tried the Chicken alla Romana amid the chaos of the restaurant. “As soon as I got back to Veni Vidi Vici, I reproduced it. It was on the original il Giallo opening menu, and now it’s back!”
Chicken alla Romana
(For 4 people)
- 4 chicken breasts, skin on with wing bone
- 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
- 2 red and 2 yellow bell peppers
- 1 cup roasted tomatoes (see attached recipe)
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons chopped marjoram
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leafed Italian parsley
- Cut the potatoes into 1.5 inch cubes (roughly, precision not necessary), rinse well and then put them into a pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Salt the water and cook until fork tender, turn off from heat and set aside.
- If you have a gas range, roast the peppers over the open flame until they are black on the outside. Let them cool briefly and then scrape the burned skin off, cut the tops off and remove the seeds. Wipe them clean with paper towels, cut them into 1” strips then set aside. If you do not have a gas range, preheat your oven to 450 and roast them until the skins start to brown and separate from the “meat,” allow to cool then follow above instructions to clean.
- Place the chicken breasts on a board and season well with salt and pepper both sides, then sprinkle the chopped herbs on the skin side. Heat a large enough skillet to hold all four breasts with about 2 tablespoons of the oil until warm and place the breasts in skin side down. Raise the heat to high until you can hear the chickens sizzling, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and place a heavy weight on top, such as another pan or a brick. Turn the heat down to medium and let them cook. After about 8 minutes, remove the pan and the foil. You should see a small area in the center of each chicken that still looks a little raw. Turn the breasts and continue to cook for about two minutes more. Use a thin knife or a cake tester inserted into the breasts to check for doneness. It should be hot to the touch.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the pan onto a platter. Add the garlic to the pan and turn up to high heat until golden brown. Add the roasted peppers and tomatoes and allow to simmer. Warm the potatoes, then drain the water off and add the 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and the chopped parsley. Using a fork or a potato masher, break up the potatoes and mix until you get a lumpy mashed potato texture.
- To serve, spread the potatoes onto a platter, then the peppers and tomatoes on top. Slice each breast into 3 pieces and arrange on top of the potatoes and peppers. Alternately, you can plate them individually onto 4 plates.
- 10-12 Roma tomatoes, cut in half length wise
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Thyme Sprigs
Drizzle the olive oil liberally in a half sheet pan (with sides) and place thyme sprigs on top of the oil and sprinkle a little salt. Line the tomatoes side by side, cut side down, fill the pan. Bake in a 400˚ oven for twenty minutes, or to the point at which the skins begin to separate from the meat of the tomato. Remove from the oven and cool. Carefully remove the skins from the meat, leaving the tomatoes intact as possible. They can then be stored in a smaller container.
- 4 wing bone in chicken breasts, often referred to as “Airline” breast
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, “B Size”, in other words, smaller ones
- 2 each red and yellow peppers
- 12 Roma tomatoes
- ¼ pound fresh thyme
- ¼ pound fresh marjoram
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, aka Italian parsley
- 1 head garlic
- A bottle of good extra virgin olive oil
- A good box of sea salt
This story first appeared in Side Dish, a weekly newsletter. Subscribe for free.