I recently read an essay about how travellers of the 16th-18th century regarded the food they ate while travelling in Europe*, quite interesting reading but above all it made me try a new way of cooking chicken. When I read the complaint of a traveller about the Italian habit to first boil and then roast chicken and meat I felt a faint tingling in the memory zone of my brain and the memory of a modern Spanish(?) recipe that followed exactly that procedure. I remember that I found it very interesting when I saw it but then I forgot all about it. Until now. I bought a small chicken called galetto in Italian, a very small type of chicken that I though would be perfect to try this out on. And so I did. The result? A very tender and surprisingly succulent chicken and I will definitely do it again!



1 small and plump chicken
1 carrot
1 onion
1 stick of celery
Fresh thyme
1 small lime
Olive oil

– Put carrot, onion, celery and salt in a largish pan and add as much water as will be needed to cover the chicken. Bring the water to boil before you add the chicken.
– After you have added the chicken you leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
– Take out the chicken but keep the stock and use it for something else, I left it to simmer for another 30 minutes before putting it away.
– Put the chicken in an oven-proof pan and put the sliced lime inside it. Take the fresh thyme and stuff it under the skin if you manage and pat some of it on the outside as well!
– Pour some olive oil over the chicken and then put it into a pre-heated oven (200°C/392°F) for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is golden and the skin is crisp:

* Il mondo in cucina. Storia, identità, scambi, ed. Massimo Montanari, Edizioni Laterza, 2006.