Gallina ’Mbriaca

Drunken Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This recipe for chicken cooked in lots of dry, aromatic white wine comes from the region of Le Marche, where cooking and eating are always approached with joy and generosity. The wine used for this recipe would have to be the region’s most famous white wine: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Iesi, which has been carefully made in the same way for decades. Verdicchio can only be produced in a specific area of Le Marche, known as Castelli di Iesi, where the terroir, climate and constant ventilation provided by the sea breezes allow the grapes to develop in a very special way. This pale, straw-coloured wine with greenish tones is delicate and flowery, with a hint of almonds and a clean, slightly bitter finish.


  • 1 oven-ready free-range chicken, about 3 kg/6 lb 9 oz
  • 1.75 litres/3 pints/ cups dry white wine, preferably Verdicchio dei Castelli di Iesi
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 large rosemary sprig
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 dried red chilli, chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Rinse the chicken with about 600 ml/1 pint/ cups of the wine, then cover it all over, inside and out, with garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.
  2. Joint the chicken and put it into a large bowl. Cover it with the remaining white wine and add the onion, rosemary, sage, celery, carrots, parsley, chilli and tomatoes. Mix all the ingredients together with your hands. Cover and chill overnight.
  3. The next day, transfer everything to a flameproof glazed terracotta casserole or enamel pan that has a heavy, tight-fitting lid.
  4. Cover the surface of the chicken with a double sheet of baking parchment, put the lid on top, and place a heatproof weight on the lid to press down as much as possible.
  5. Simmer for about 4 hours, until very tender, without lifting the lid. Serve.