What Wise Guys EatWritten by Skip Lombardi
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Skip’s Chicken Scarpariello Chicken, Shoemaker's-Style Excerpted from my second cookbook, "Almost Italian."
2 ˝ — 3 Lb. Frying chicken cut into 8 pieces 4 Tbs. Olive oil 4 Cloves garlic, peeled, and sliced thinly 1 Cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio are popular choices) 6 - 8 hot cherry peppers, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped 1 14 oz. Can chicken broth (preferably low sodium) 4 Tbs. Flat-leaf Italian parsley 2 Tbs. Unsalted butter Juice of 1 lemon Salt & freshly ground black pepper Six Links sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1 in. chunks (optional) 4 Tbs. Flat-leaf Italian parsley
Season chicken pieces on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add olive oil. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, being careful not to let garlic burn.
Add chicken pieces to sauté pan without crowding. Do this step in batches if necessary. Cook chicken pieces, turning occasionally, until they’re golden brown all over; about 10 minutes. Remove chicken pieces from pan and reserve on a plate, covering them with aluminum foil.
Raise heat to high, and add wine. Boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any bits of chicken that may have caramelized on bottom of pan, for about 2 minutes. Add cherry peppers, chicken broth, parsley, and butter. Allow mixture to return to boil, then stir in lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.
Lower heat to simmer, return chicken to pan, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. For a real wise guy presentation, add sausage at this point too.
Remove chicken (and optional sausage) pieces to a platter, cover with sauce and garnish with parsley. Serve with plenty of Italian bread for sopping up sauce.
Skip Lombardi is the author of two cookbooks: "La Cucina dei Poveri: Recipes from my Sicilian Grandparents," and "Almost Italian: Recipes from America's Little Italys." Visit his Web site to learn more about his cookbooks. http://www.skiplombardi.com For comments or questions, e-mail at email@example.com
Florentine-StyleWritten by Skip Lombardi
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One of foodstuffs she introduced to French Court, was spinach. At this point, though, historians become vague. It seems that French liked it well enough, but they weren't bowled over. Of course, this was also a period in culinary history when Royal Court was-literally-grappling with notion of using silverware at dinnertime, so they probably can't be faulted for being less than enthusiastic.
Also, as historian Brandon Case, of King's College in Pennsylvania, writes, "other than [King] Francis I, Caterina had not a friend." And elsewhere he writes that Royal Court and French people at-large, referred to her as "the Italian woman."
So when spinach began to appear on menus at Royal Chateau Fontainebleau, diners began to refer to it, with some contempt, as being "like that Florentine." Yet over time, "alla Fiorentina" seemed to change from depreciative to complimentary "Florentine-style." History remains weak about whether Florentines in general ever had a strong appetite for spinach.
Today, when we go to a restaurant and order something "alla Fiorentina," we expect that it will be served on a bed of spinach, or stuffed with spinach. And we're content to think that we're paying homage to good people of Florence. But I submit that, in fact, we're paying homage woman who also introduced high-heeled shoes for ladies.
The next time I go to brunch, I think instead of ordering Eggs Florentine, I'm going to order "Eggs alla Caterina de' Medici," and see what happens. Nah, it's probably too late in game for that.
Skip Lombardi is the author of two Italian cookbooks.
He has been a Broadway musician, high-school math teacher, software engineer. But he has never let any of those pursuits get in the way of his passion for cooking and eating. Visit his Web site to learn more about his cookbooks. http://www.skiplombardi.com For comments or questions, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org