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Chicken Piccata alla Siciliana 

Courtesy Giuseppe Clementi, winemaker, Cantine Ermes (@cantineermes) 

In the U.S., piccata usually refers to thin pounded veal, chicken or even swordfish that’s cooked quickly in butter and seasoned simply with lemon and capers. In fact, the dish can feature many pieces or thicknesses of meat in Italy and elsewhere.

The version here is made with bone-in chicken thighs and uses ingredients typical of Sicily. It finds brightness not just in lemon and capers, but from olives, tomatoes, hot chilies, rosé and pungent fresh herbs.


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
2½ pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin-on
2 spicy fresh red chilies (like bird’s eye), stemmed, seeded and thin-sliced  
2 cloves garlic 
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved 
¼ cup pitted black olives 
¼ cup capers 
¼ cup chopped fennel fronds or mint, plus more, to garnish 
1 cup dry rosé  
Salt, to taste 
Lemon wedges, for serving 


In large skillet, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, then add chilies and garlic cloves. Cook until chicken is golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, olives, capers and half the fennel or mint until incorporated.

Deglaze pan with rosé. When liquid is almost evaporated, add 1 cup water. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes.

Raise heat to medium. Add remaining fennel or mint. Cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. If liquid dries, add just enough rosé to form thin layer.  It should be moist, but not saucy.

Season with salt, to taste. Garnish with fennel fronds or mint leaves. Serve immediately alongside lemon wedges. Serves 4.

Wine Pairing

Cantine Ermes 2019 Vento di Mare Nerello Mascalese (Terre Siciliane). “Despite being based on chicken, this dish has a richness and complexity of flavors that make it suitable for a not-too-structured red like Nerello Mascalese,” says Clementi of this stainless steel-aged wine made from organic grapes grown in western Sicily. He recommends serving the wine with a slight chill, about 57°F. “This is an intense and fresh wine that goes well with typical Sicilian ingredients like tomatoes, capers, olives and herbs.”