This is my version of Pullum Frontonianum which translates to Chicken a la Fronto, so named for a Roman author of a lost treatise on agriculture. He won’t mind at all that I’ve put my own take on it.
The ancient Romans cooked very much like Italian cooks do today or to be more precise, like Sicilian cooks. If you can imagine a contemporary Italian meal without tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, corn polenta or pasta. Sound bleak? It wasn’t. Try this chicken a la fronto.
The original recipe
From Apicius Pullum Frontonianum : Pullum praedura, condies liquamen, oleo mixto, cui mittis fasciculum aneti, porri, satureiae et coriandri viridis et coques, Ubii coctius fuerit, levabis eum, in lance defrito perungues, piper aspargis
Brown chicken, season with garum and oil, add dill, leeks, savory, fresh coriander and cook. Remove when cooked, coat with defrutum on a serving plate, sprinkle pepper.
Garum and Defrutum
For Garum I used Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa ‘s suggestion of reducing a litre of grape juice to one tenth, stirring in 2 tablespoons of anchovy paste and a pinch of dried oregano. This, and other recipes, are in her book A Taste of Ancient Rome
You could use fish sauce straight from the bottle, or diluted.
For Defrutum, I reduced 2 cups of red wine (a cheap cabernet shiraz ) to one third.