1chicken (3½pounds), butterflied (split down the backbone, breast left intact and unsplit)
Salt to taste, if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1cup finely chopped onion
1cup finely chopped celery
1cup finely chopped sweet green peppers
1½teaspoons finely minced garlic
1¾cups crushed or chopped imported canned tomatoes
2tablespoons finely chopped parsley
A black iron skillet is essential for the authentic preparation of this dish. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Select a skillet large enough to hold the chicken comfortably when it is opened up, as for broiling. Fold the chicken wings under to hold them secure.
Melt the butter in the skillet and add the chicken, skin side down. Cover the chicken firmly with a plate that will fit comfortably inside the skillet. Add several weights, approximately 5pounds, to the top of the plate. Cook over low heat until the skin side of the chicken is nicely browned, about 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a warm platter. Add the onion, celery, green peppers, and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, until onion is wilted.
Sprinkle with flour and stir to blend. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, stirring rapidly with a whisk. Bring to the boil.
Return the chicken, skin side up, to the sauce. Cover with the plate and weights and continue cooking over low heat 45 minutes longer. Remove the chicken to a warm platter and cook down the sauce briefly, stirring. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.