Niko Romito serves a chicken in every pot

The chef from Reale (and plenty of other projects) offers us different takes on a classic that feeds us just by mentioning it

29-03-2019
Niko Romito at Identità Milano 2019 explains t

Niko Romito at Identità Milano 2019 explains the complex process behind the perfect fried chicken (all the photos are from Brambilla-Serrani)

It can be hard to believe, but the obsession of Niko Romito, three stars at Reale in Castel di Sangro (L'Aquila) and part of plenty of projects, so many it almost blows your mind (and indeed, at the end of the speech, he receives the Nuove Sfideaward, for the New Challenges), is, his own words, «making the perfect roast chicken». But why be satisfied with just one chicken? In his lesson, opening the afternoon of the last day in the Auditorium of Identità Milano 2019, he presented a real... henhouse. But only after he introduced his bread, the emblem-dish of this edition of the congress, see Niko Romito’s Bread, here’s the emblem of Identità Milano 2019 («Which is a paradox: it’s an example of my work, but I always invite my pupils to go beyond») and illustrated his own, and his collaborators’ work method: «Like in a department store, we consider every idea and give them a framework».

So we start this journey across the GMN – the Grandi Magazzini Niko, where Grandi Magazzini stands for Department Store – with chicken (the dish which, as Paolo Marchi says when presenting the chef from Abruzzo, «feeds you just by mentioning it») acting as Caron, to show how they use it in Niko’s various restaurants. Starting of course from Reale’s lab, and from the challenge that starts from the desire to offer clients roast chicken at every hour. Said and done, «after a long work we have managed to fry an entire chicken in just nine minutes», thanks to a pressure fryer (in order to describe it, Romito takes the role of physicist) which given the constant volume gives life to a crispy chicken that doesn’t loose its humidity, in fact in the end both breast and leg have the same humidity.

The chicken served at Bomba

The chicken served at Bomba

We move to Bomba, the street food place that Romito opened in Piazza XXV Aprile in Milan (a format that can be easily replicated) and based on the round fried “bomb”, a doughnut . In this case the chicken is cooked in a bag, seasoned with its own juices, and it ends inside a doughnut covered with a classic mayo with some lettuce.

We move on to Spazio, the restaurant-lab where Niko’s pupils work, in Milan and Rome, as well as in Rivisondoli, where the Niko Romito Formazione school is located. In this case the chicken hints at a Sunday roast, with potatoes, and the skin is created with a centrifuge juice of this tuber, served with a caramel of fried peppers and spinach. What a lovely Sunday.

Tortelli at Reale

Tortelli at Reale

Romito receives the Nuove Sfide award from Enrico Berto, president at Berto's

Romito receives the Nuove Sfide award from Enrico Berto, president at Berto's

But since the speech was on Monday, off to Bulgari, the jewel hotels located in important capitals around the world, where Romito signs the cuisine. In this case the chicken turns into a diavola chicken with potatoes and olives. And finally back to Reale with the tortello included in the tasting menu. «I’m more and more convinced that my work is in the kitchen», says Romito at the end. Don’t you move from there, Niko.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Sections

Identità Milano

All about the content and the speakers of the international signature cuisine and pastry making congress