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Chicken Beckerman?

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Some of the old-time traditional Italian restaurants in L.A. (Matteo's, Dan Tana's) served a chicken dish called Chicken Beckerman that CH's rave about. It apparently contains chicken, potatoes, onions and Italian seasonings. Does anyone have the recipe?

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  1. I check several places for the recipe. The links I did find for Chicken Beckerman kept referring to the chicken dish at Matteo's. I came across this tale on bestcellar.com.

    "Sidney Beckerman was an executive at Paramount and was a very disreputable person. He frequented an Italian restaurant called Matteo's ... and they named a dish after him: Chicken Beckerman. When someone asked for the recipe, the answer was: First, you steal a chicken..."

    I'm thinking that the name for the recipe is unique to Matteo's (and perhaps was also used by other restaurants in the area). You may have to search for an Italian recipe with the ingredients you remember rather than by the name.

    Hope this information helps and is correct. Just thought I would pass it on.

    1. According to a 2006 article in the LA times, Chicken Beckerman was "named for film producer Sidney Beckerman, a (Matteo's) regular customer who ordered the chicken every Sunday, the dish was, according to (Chef Don) Dickman, "the most disgusting thing we served."

      "It was horrible," (Consulting General Manager Colin) Trauberman said. "It has chicken. They chop it up and put a lot of oil in the pan. They take a big potato, chop it up and put it all around the chicken. They put it in the oven. They cook it 1 1/2 or 2 hours. They take it out and put parsley on it. Chopped. And put it in the oven again so the parsley gets burnt."

      So you might try creating the dish per the description above, if you're still willing. Here's the link to the article I quoted:

      http://articles.latimes.com/2006/dec/...

      1 Reply
      1. re: janniecooks

        Apparently according to many CH's, the version served today at Dan Tana's is delicious. Than's the recipe I want!

      2. All of these quotes from articles are cracking me up so much that I read the entire piece from the LA Times. Here's an exchange between customers Stanley and Stanley's wife that sheds light on the inclusion of garlic in the dish:

        "It was delicious," he said. "They bake it and they have a certain kind of garlic on it and many, many things. It was very tasty, very wholesome."

        "I think it was sauteed -- ," said his wife.

        "I don't think it was sauteed," said Stanley, interrupting.

        "You had your turn to tell the chicken Beckerman," Dee said. "Now it's my turn. It definitely had garlic and it had parsley, lots of parsley. It was crisp, but it wasn't burnt."

        1. Not much - but ingredients
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6832...
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4899...

          Sounds like Chicken Scarpariello to me. Here is Rao's recipe http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com...

          2 Replies
          1. re: EM23

            Rao's looks darn tasty!

            1. re: HillJ

              Sure does. I pulled a couple pieces of chicken out of the freezer, and added sweet sausage to my shopping list after posting that link. It will be what’s for dinner tomorrow night.