Valdarno Chicken With Potatoes And Truffle


This recipe by Gaetano Trovato showcases the gorgeous Valdarno chicken, which nearly became extinct during the 20th century. The flesh is rich and flavoursome, however, if you cannot find Valdarno, use any local free-range chicken. This is the perfect Sunday supper, and is well worth the extended cooking time.



  • 1 free-range chicken, Valdarno, 1.5kg
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • olive oil
  • fleur de sel to season


  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 2 cloves
  • 200g of dry white wine
  • olive oil


  • 20 Ratte potatoes, a small buttery variety
  • 100g of wood chips, beech tree shavings where possible
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 100g of cream
  • olive oil


  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 20 beetroot leaves
  • 16 slices of black truffle
  • 4 tsp truffle, perlage (caviar)
  • olive oil

Preheat a water bath to 63°C.

Start by removing the legs, wings and neck from the chicken (these will be used later).

Remove the thighs, making sure you keep the skin on the breast. De-bone the thighs, keeping the skin on, and open them up. Add a sprig of rosemary, a sage leaf, a clove of garlic and a quarter of the lemon zest to each flattened thigh.

Place the thighs in two separate vacuum bags with the seasonings, making sure they are laid flat, and seal. Cook in the water bath for 12 hours.

Remove the innards from the cavity of the bird and stuff with the remaining sage, rosemary, garlic and zest. Season and place in a vacuum bag with a little olive oil, seal, and cook in the same water bath as the thighs for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 195°C/gas mark 5.

To make the sauce, roast the chicken bones, wings and neck in the oven for 15–20 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop then blitz the celery, carrot and onion in a food processor to a coarse paste.

Sauté the paste with a little olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the bones and cover with ice. Boil the broth for 2 hours, adding cold water in the first hour. You should end up with an amber-coloured liquid.

Sauté the shallots for the sauce in a pan with the spices. Add the white wine, reduce to a glaze then add the strained broth. Reduce until it has the consistency of a thick sauce, then pass it through a sieve. Keep warm.

For the smoked potato cream, boil the potatoes in salted water until they are soft. Reserve four potatoes for the final garnishing.

Line a baking tray with tin foil and place in the oven (do not turn the oven on). Heat the beech shavings in a heavy pan until smoking, then spread out on the foil. Place the potatoes on a smaller tray on top of the shavings in the oven and leave to smoke for 30 minutes.
Sauté the shallots with a little olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Peel and cut the smoked potatoes into pieces, then add to the pan with the rosemary. Cover with the chicken broth, simmer for 20 minutes then add the cream. Blitz to smooth purée in a blender to finish.
When ready to serve, remove the thighs from the bags, pat dry and cook them in an non-stick pan, skin-side down, until crispy and golden.

Remove the chicken breast from the bag and pat dry. Remove the breasts from the bone and cook in a non-stick pan, skin-side down, until the skin is crisp and golden. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.

To assemble, cut the chicken into pieces. Cut the remaining four potatoes in half and brown them in a pan with a little oil and a sprig of rosemary. Season the beetroot leaves with a little olive oil and salt.

Pour some potato cream into each serving dish and spread it out. Place two halves of the potatoes next to each other, then the pieces of chicken on top. Add the warm chicken sauce and garnish with the leaves, truffle shavings and a teaspoon of truffle perlage.