What’s Burning: Petti di Pollo in Salsa di Pepe Verde

©2005 DreamWorks Animation
©2005 DreamWorks Animation

As the “wooden spoon that stirs the recipe,” I’ve gotta say my short-order cookin’ alter ego, Lazy Person (LP), really concocted quite a tasty dish this time around.

Like in the animated movie franchise Madagascar, LP’s latest miracle-on-a-plate adds a bit of spice from that East African island to make this dish animate on the palate: Madagascan pepe verde (green peppercorn).

Green peppercorn from Madacascar, along with those grown in India, Vietnam and other locations around Asia, are unripe pepper berries harvested from the same tropical vine that also produces white and black peppercorn.

Brined green peppercorn | ©Tom Palladio ImagesClassified according to the way they’re processed, peppercorn are either dried, freeze dried or brined. Our p’corn were brined then sealed in a glass jar.

Unlike Madagascar’s Alex — the “king of the jungle” — I’m not much of a red meat eater, and pretty much limit my intake of skeletal flesh to the range-free, two-legged variety: petti di pollo (chicken breasts). Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a BREAST MAN…when it comes to chicken.

Whaddya say we move our thighs and head into the kitchen and join up with Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria, and get this What’s Burning dish underway?


Pepe Verde Pollo recipe graphic | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-1: In a skillet, add the butter and oil, place on MEDIUM-HIGH to melt and merge

Step-2: Add in the garlic cloves, let cook until they turn paper-bag brown, then remove

Add chicken breasts to skillet | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-3: Place the chicken breasts into the skillet and cook until bottom side is browned (3 min.)

Browned chicken breasts | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-4: Turn chicken over and brown other side (3 min.), then remove from skillet

Rinse off peppercorn brine | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-5: Rinse off brine from peppercorn

Add brandy to deglaze the skillet | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-6: Add the peppercorn, brandy and sea salt and deglaze the skillet until the alcohol evaporates.

Deglaze skillet with brandy, cream and peppercorn | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step7: Add the heavy cream to the skillet and begin reducing the liquid.

Return chicken to skillet and coat well in sauce | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step8: As the sauce thickens, return the chicken breasts to the skillet, turn and rotate constantly until the chicken warms and is totally absorbed in the sauce.

Plate chicken and serve with roasted potatoes | ©Tom Palladio Images  St. Magdalener DOC Rosso | ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-9: Plate and serve with oven-roasted rosemary potatoes and garlic cloves.



Recommended Wine Pairing: St. Magdalener DOC RossoWilhelm Walch Winery – Tramin (BZ), Italy

St. Magdalener DOC Rosso | ©Tom Palladio Images

Located along the famous Weinstraße (Wine Road) of the South Tyrol region of northern Italy, the Wilhelm Walch Winery has been producing high-quality grape from an old Jesuit monastery in the medieval town of Tramin since 1869. And out from Walch’s flows  St. Magdalener DOC Rosso, a delicious red that I’ve enjoyed on numerous occasions.

A blend of 90% Vernatsch and 10% Lagrein-Pinot NeroSt. Magdalener DOC Rosso is brought to fruition in large Slovenian oak barrels. A dense cherry-red color, the bouquet is freshly picked cherries, slightly bitter almonds and a touch of violet. On the palate, it’s juicy and pleasant, and this “saint” follows through with a very nice soft and round finish.

St. Magdalener DOC Rosso | ©Tom Palladio Images  St. Magdalener DOC Rosso | ©Tom Palladio Images

St. Magdalener DOC Rosso pairs well with a variety of dishes: mild cheeses, spicy starters, light meats — grilled or roasted — and freshwater fish. SALUTE!

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

TPT Borsalino 2014 Color |©Tom Palladio Images



  1. No, I said. “You can’t open Tom’s ‘What’s Burning?’ post, you’ve got to do the ironing!”. Well, of course, I couldn’t resist – it’s lunch time, after all, and I haven’t had lunch yet … now I’m hungry and still have the ironing to do, but what a treat – ultra simple, teamed with that soft fresh red … Oh well 🙂

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