In late 2016 it came to my attention that archaeologist had unearthed a great deal of Roman pottery just outside of Naples Italy in the ancient city of Cumae.
The find? 2000 year old non-stick, enameled cookware.
I know, serious respect for the ingenuity of the Roman people.
Naturally, I had to find a Roman recipe and as luck would have it the wonderful Project Gutenberg has a great deal of historical writings. I was able to find a copy of the 1st century AD cook book entitled Apicius, which mentions the ancient pottery as a no fuss way to cook chicken stew.
After reading a few recipes, I decided to seek out a modern take on the more traditional version . I happened upon a recipe on the website Following Hadrian and have adapted the recipe accordingly.
The result is a delicious, rich flavored stewed chicken. This dish could be made ahead, as the longer the flavors meld the better it gets.
If you care to learn more about Ancient Rome and the food they ate check out: Ancient Rome: Non-stick cookware and Honey-Dipped Dormice
1 whole chicken broken down and salted
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Leeks, chopped
3 cups of red wine
1-2 Tablespoons of fish sauce
1/2 cup of dates, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped celery leaf
2 tsp cumin Seeds
1-2 tsp Asafoetida or Onion/Garlic powder
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large dutch oven
- Heat oil and add chicken, in batches if need be. Brown chicken on both sides and remove from pan, place in a paper towel lined bowl
- Add Leeks and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes or so
- Add dates and saute for a minute
- Add wine and spices and bring to the boil
- Return the chicken to the dutch oven, nestling them amongst the leeks and dates
cover and simmer on low for 1 hour or as long as you see fit
I personally love giving myself lots of time when it comes to simmering stews, the longer it cooks the tastier it gets.