Grilled, roasted, stewed, millions of chickens are eaten by Italians during the Ferragosto festivities. Romans eat pollo alla romana (roman-style chicken) aka pollo con i peperoni (chicken with peppers), that can be served hot or cold, perfect for picnics, wonderful leftover. The traditional recipe calls for a chicken cut into pieces, cooked in a pan with 3 sliced peppers, four ripe tomatoes, 3 garlic cloves, a splash of white wine (after the chicken is seared, before adding the peppers), oil, salt, pepper and peperoncino. That is it. In the North of Italy, it’s pollo alla diavola (devil-style chicken), a whole chicken flattened and grilled or roasted on a stone. Tuscans eat chicken cacciatore. In the South of Italy, chicken is prepared with a recipe similar to pollo alla romana but with potatoes and onions instead of peppers and garlic.
No matter how you prepare it, it needs to have plenty of side dishes to celebrate summer. Salads, roasted potatoes, caponata, roasted vegetables, followed by tons of watermelon – the symbol of Ferragosto – and figs, peaches, plums, nectarines… a feast. Cold dry white wine should be served during the meal, and amaro at the end to help digestion.