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A Recipe for Drunken Chicken - Gallina Ubriaca

Drunk Chicken

Gallina Ubriaca, which translated into English means drunken hen, is one of my all-time favorite Italian recipes for chicken. The hardest part is always trying to get the chicken drunk before you cook it. More details on doing that are at the bottom of the page.

Gallina Ubriaca, also known as "Drunken Chicken," is an iconic dish hailing from the beautiful Veneto region in Italy. This is the very region where you'll discover the enchanting city of Venice (be sure to check out my comprehensive guide to the city!). As a matter of fact, the Veneto region holds a special place in my heart, as it is not only where my family originates from but also the primary focus of my website.

The Veneto region, known for its diverse culinary heritage, boasts an array of traditional recipes that reflect the rich cultural tapestry of the area. Gallina Ubriaca stands out as one of the region's most famous and cherished gastronomic treasures, capturing the essence of Venetian cuisine.

The dish not only tantalizes the taste buds but also tells a story—a story of generations past, preserving the culinary traditions that have been passed down through families for centuries. With each tender bite of Gallina Ubriaca, you embark on a sensory journey, embracing the flavors that have been perfected over time.

List of Ingredients:

1 chicken cut into small cubes 

200 gr. mushrooms

A half liter of a full-bodied red wine

2 onions

2 small glasses of grappa - something the Veneto is very famous for. Many of my uncle's even add it to their morning coffee!

100 gr. bacon (pancetta is used in Italy). Below the recipe, you'll find an explanation of the differences between the two.

50 gr. of flour

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 garlic clove

a little parsley

a sprig of rosemary

100 gr. butter

salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking Instructions

• Lightly flour the chicken pieces.

• Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the olive oil. Brown the chicken and add the grappa.

• Add the salt, pepper, rosemary and wine. Cover and cook on low heat for a half hour turning the chicken occasionally.

• In a separate pan cook the bacon and cut up onions in a little butter, add the mushrooms, parsley, salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for fifteen minutes mixing often.

• Add the bacon mix to the chicken, mix and continue to cook on a low heat for fifteen minutes – keep covered.

Serve with polenta, you can find our genuine homemade polenta recipe here. .

Hope you enjoy the recipe


  • If you are already trying to get the hen drunk you can stop now, I was only joking:-) The drunken part refers to the chicken being cooked in the grappa.

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What is the difference between bacon and pancetta?

Bacon and pancetta are both delicious cured pork products that add flavor and depth to a wide range of dishes. While they may appear similar, there are a few notable differences between the two:

Cut and Texture:
Bacon is typically made from pork belly and is available in thin slices. It is usually smoked, giving it a distinct smoky flavor. Bacon is known for its crispy texture when cooked.

Pancetta, on the other hand, is made from pork belly as well but is typically rolled and cured without smoking. It is usually sold in thin slices or as a cylindrical piece. Pancetta has a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture when cooked.

Flavor Profile:
Bacon has a strong, salty, and smoky flavor due to the smoking process. It adds a rich and savory taste to dishes and is commonly associated with breakfast foods, burgers, and sandwiches.

Pancetta has a milder flavor compared to bacon. It is seasoned with a combination of salt, pepper, and various herbs and spices like nutmeg, fennel, and garlic. Pancetta lends a slightly sweet and spicy flavor to dishes and is often used in Italian cuisine, such as pasta sauces, soups, and risottos.

Cooking Methods:
Bacon is often fried, grilled, or baked until crispy to enhance its texture and release its smoky flavors. It can also be used as a flavoring ingredient in stews, casseroles, or salads.

Pancetta is typically used as a cooking ingredient rather than being consumed on its own. It is commonly sautéed or rendered to release its flavors and used as a base for cooking other ingredients. Pancetta can add richness to sauces, pasta dishes, and braises.

While bacon and pancetta have some similarities, their flavor profiles and textures distinguish them from each other. Whether you prefer the bold smokiness of bacon or the nuanced flavors of pancetta, both can elevate your culinary creations with their unique characteristics.

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