Pollo al Ginepro

Chicken with Juniper


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This is a chicken casserole from the Aosta Valley that contains lots of really flavoursome ingredients, including red wine and scented herbs, as well as lightly crushed juniper berries, which have a warming quality. Serve with a mound of soft polenta or mashed potatoes to soak up the wonderful juices.


  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.6 kg/ lb, jointed
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 115 g/4 oz streaky/fatty bacon, lard or white cooking fat, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch celery leaves, chopped
  • 1 small sprig each of fresh rosemary, sage and parsley, leaves chopped
  • 50 g/2 oz juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup dry red wine
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
  • mashed potatoes or soft polenta, to serve


  1. Pat dry the chicken on kitchen paper.

  2. Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Peel away the skins, remove the seeds and chop the flesh. Discard the skin and seeds, and set the chopped flesh aside.
  3. Heat the bacon or fat in a large frying pan, add the onion, celery leaves, herbs and juniper berries and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.

  4. Add the chicken joints and brown them thoroughly on all sides. Pour the wine over the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off. Add the tomatoes and the stock, then stir well.

  5. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for 90 minutes, basting occasionally with the hot stock, until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Serve on mashed potatoes or polenta, sprinkled with chopped parsley.