By: Steve Keenan Journalist | Specialist in rural tourism

Tuscany Now & More joins Giulia Scarpaleggia, food writer and photographer, as she shares the secrets behind her Roast Chicken with Vin Santo. Born and bred in Tuscany, Giulia lives between Siena and Florence with her partner Tommaso, and huge white sheep dog, Noa. “I teach Tuscan cooking classes and share traditional Italian recipes on Juls’ Kitchen, my blog, and in my cookbooks”.

“This is how I would imagine a woman living in the Tuscan countryside would have loved her farmyard chicken to be roasted on a foggy Sunday morning. No butter smeared on the chicken, no fussy stuffing, just a good chicken, some salt and pepper, Extra-virgin olive oil and Vin Santo. She could find everything in her pantry or in her yard.” Vin Santo (holy wine) is a classic, sweet Tuscan dessert wine, a family favourite and often home-made.

Roast Chicken with Vin Santo

Serves 4 - Cook in 2 hours


- 1 whole chicken

- 120ml of Vin Santo or Marsala

- 2 tablespoons of Extra-virgin olive oil

- Salt and pepper


Step 1

Begin by preheating the oven to 200°C (400°F). Sprinkle the whole chicken with salt and pepper, then rub it with Extra-virgin olive oil and two tablespoons of sweet wine.

Step 2

Place the chicken breast side down in a baking dish and pour over 60ml of the wine. Roast for 45 minutes, turn the chicken breast side up, pour in the remaining wine and roast for another 30–45 minutes until the chicken turns golden brown.

Step 3

Allow the chicken to rest wrapped in aluminium foil for at least 30 minutes, then serve with the sauce poured over. Buon Appetito!

If you have any leftovers, Giulia recommends cooking up a rice salad with the leftover chicken for a proper Tuscan lunch. Stir-fry the chicken with rice and almonds and add a squeeze of lemon juice to finish. If you want to make your chicken go even further, Giulia suggests a home-made broth. In a large warm pot, place the chicken bones with carrots, celery, onion, a bay leaf and a bunch of parsley with warm water. Simply boil slowly for three hours, cool, freeze and use it when you need.

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