Polpette con Pomarola (Chicken and Potato Croquettes with Tomato Sauce)


Polpette Ingredients:
  • 1 whole organic chicken (about 3 pounds)
  • 5 cloves garlic, divided (3 roughly chopped and 2 finely chopped)
  • 3 generous bunches fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 5 Idaho® russet potatoes
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100 grams Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 slice Tuscan-style bread, lightly soaked in milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus about 2 tablespoons more for frying
  • As needed peanut oil for deep-frying
  • 2 cups bread crumbs for frying
Pomarola Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ carrot, roughly chopped
  • ½ celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • ½ red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 ½ pounds good-quality whole Italian (or Italian-style) tomatoes, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste


Polpette Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 360°F. Split chicken down the middle along the breast and spread apart slightly. Place on a baking sheet. Cover top and bottom with 3 cloves roughly chopped garlic, all the sage, and salt and black pepper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for 1 to 1½ hours.
  2. Remove chicken from oven and let cool until you are able to handle it. Pull all the meat off the bones and place in a bowl together with the herbs it was cooked with, but not the pan juices/grease.
  3. Place chicken and herbs into a food processor and pulse until fine but not mushy. Set aside.
  4. Peel potatoes and dice into chunks, then boil until soft enough to be passed through a food mill or ricer. Let cool a bit and then pass the potatoes (fine).
  5. In a large bowl, combine chicken, potatoes, eggs and cheese. Mix with remaining garlic (chopped fine) and lemon zest. Add soaked bread (crumbling it apart with your hands) and flour. Mix well and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Heat oil in deep fryer or pot.
  7. Shape polpette into oblong pieces and set aside.
  8. Combine bread crumbs and two tablespoons flour in a bowl. Coat polpette thoroughly. Fry until golden brown and crisp. Drain.
  9. Serve with pomarola (tomato sauce).
Pomarola Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot and wilt carrot, celery and onion in it.
  2. Add tomatoes and let come to a good boil, then cook at boiling for about 1 hour.
  3. Pass everything through a food mill (fine) into another pot. Add the garlic and salt to taste.
  4. Simmer for another ½ hour. Adjust salt if needed. Keep warm until serving.
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Yield: 10 servings

Paolo Calamai
Ankeny, Portland

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