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November 2013 Cookbooks of the Month, Marcella Hazan Month: Fish; Seafood; Meats; Poultry

Please use this thread to report on the following chapters from the November Cookbooks of the Month (Marcella Cucina, Marcella’s Italian Kitchen, and Marcella Says…)

Fish (Marcella Cucina), pages 238-265
Poultry and Rabbit (Marcella Cucina), pages 266-291
Meat (Marcella Cucina), pages 292-335

Fish Courses (Marcella’s Italian Kitchen), pages 169 – 186
Meat Courses (Marcella’s Italian Kitchen), pages 187 - 244

Fish (Marcella Says…), pages 203 – 232
Chicken (Marcella Says…), pages 233 – 248
Veal (Marcella Says…), pages 249 – 258
Beef (Marcella Says…), pages 259 - 278
Lamb (Marcella Says…), pages 279 – 288
Pork (Marcella Says…), pages 289 - 298

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  1. Shrimp Braised with Tomato, Chili Pepper, and Capers, p. 204, Marcella Says.

    This is a lovely recipe, the first Hazan recipe I'd ever made, appealing not just because it is easy, delicious and fresh-tasting, but because the writing that accompanies it is such a pleasure to read. What a born teacher Marcella is; reading her recipe- introduction and following her clear instructions feels as if a watchful yet kindly aunt, say, was guiding your progress closely, while simultaneously feeling quite certain you would perform it perfectly.

    Anyway, it's quite a simple and traditional combination of chopped onions lightly sautéed, to which chopped garlic and then chopped Italian parsley and chopped chili pepper, jalapeño, or dried red pepper flakes are added. Then a cup of cut up plum tomatoes and their juice are stirred in (alternatively, cut up canned San Marzano tomatoes--I used Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes) are added and all are simmered "steadily" while you shell and devein 20 large raw shrimp. They are rinsed, dried, and "when the oil floats free from the tomato" you slip the shrimp into the pan, adding salt and 1/2 TBS capers. Turn them a time of two and when they have "lost their shiny, raw color (about 2 -3 minutes) they are done." Serve immediately with crusty bread, over polenta, rice pilaf, or boiled rice.

    So: not a complex recipe, but one in which care is taken to treat each ingredient with respect. I added a few pinches to taste of white sugar, which I sometimes do when using canned tomatoes to tame the acidity just a bit. I used 1TBS of chopped fresh jalapeño, a bit more than the 1/2 TBS asked for, because we like a bit of heat.

    The only slightly mysterious part was the statement that the sauce was done "when the oil floats free from the tomatoes." But she describes this clearly in a section called "How to Cook a Pasta Sauce," which entails scooping up the sauce in a spoon to see how much of the juices have evaporated off (a good thing) and whether the oil is now clear in the spoon. No timing is given here; you just have to observe and check. Took about 10 minutes for me. I realized that observation and tasting is what is important, not an arbitrary time, and this is why my sauce was so fresh tasting.

    An added bonus is that this is really three recipes in one. At the end of the basic recipe, detailed instructions are given for transforming it into a pasta sauce, and then into the flavor base for a risotto.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Goblin

      I found this instruction in my scallop recipe also, just described a little differently. It seemed to work, and it was interesting to watch the change. She really does have a natural style of teaching and sharing.

    2. Fricasseed Chicken with Fresh Herbs and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, p. 246, Marcella Says.

      Another relatively simple dish with great flavor and fragrance. Nice as a family meal or simple buffet.

      Pieces of chicken (my notes say to cut large breasts and thighs in half) are first browned in a large skillet, and then reserved while you sauté the rest of the ingredients. The fricassee gets its flavor from chopped garlic, fresh sage leaves, sprigs of fresh rosemary, cut-up thick slices of bacon, dried red chili pepper, and sun dried tomatoes in 1-in. pieces. These are all sautéed together and then the chicken pieces are added back to the pan along with a cup or white wine. Cover and simmer until the meat is very tender, about 45 minutes.

      THEN transfer just the chicken to a bowl and add cut up pieces of potatoes ("no larger than walnuts") to the simmering sauce.. Hazan doesn't specify what type of potatoes; I used Yukon Gold. Cover and braise until they are almost tender (my potato pieces, perhaps modeled on a larger walnut, took 30 minutes.) Then add back the chicken pieces and finish the cooking of the potatoes.

      Serve at once OR prepare up to several hours in advance and reheat just before serving. This is what I did and it was delicious. I am so used to using fresh (or canned) tomatoes in this type of fricassee, but the sun-dried tomatoes gave depth of flavor. Hazan never specifies anywhere in this book if they are to be jarred or dried; I used jarred. Maybe someone who knows more about her preference can tell me which she would have used.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Goblin

        She has a good summary of ingredients in her Essentials book and I believe she calls for jarred but I will have to double check when I have my book at hand.

        1. re: delys77

          Thank you for the offer to look it up, delys. That's one book of hers I do not have.

          1. re: Goblin

            Sorry goblin, I was mistaken. She discusses many ingredients but not sun dried tomatoes. My bad.

            1. re: delys77

              Thanks for trying, delays! This has been a very interesting mini-search for me. I googled "Marcella Hazan and sun dried tomatoes" and found several references to the following famous quote:

              On sun-dried tomatoes: “I never cook with sun-dried tomato. That’s a pickle!”

              And yet, we have the evidence that she does use them sometimes (see the Fricaseed Chicken recipe above) and I also I found a Mushroom and Potato Soup with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, p. 124, in the same book Marcella Says, in which she requests "3 - 5 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)"
              So I think that the lady is entitled to change her mind in her later cookbooks about these "pickles" ;-) and somehow my intuition says that she generally means oil-packed, unless otherwise noted, as in the aforementioned Mushroom and Potato Soup.
              Wish she were still here to ask!

              1. re: Goblin

                Ha ha, well it seems that she must have reversed herself, at least partially. I'll bet you are right about the oil packed vs dried.

      2. Roast Chicken with Pancetta and Herbs, Pg. 189
        Pollo Arrosto con la Pancetta e gli Odori
        On-line recipe:

        I'm writing this report on behalf of my husband, G, who after reading through the recipe, decided he would do this without my help. Because I couldn't resist I did write down my thoughts and advice which he subsequently ignored. The outcome as he told me were delicious, juicy, tender chicken with a paler skin then we're use to, only somewhat crispy yet full of lemony/sagey/salty flavor that he enjoyed. My tummy is still a bit funny so I only had a wee bit of a taste and I concur.

        The recipe is really quite simple, the execution is a bit fiddly during the cooking, but the timing was perfect, he said. We had a 4 pound chicken to work with so he "more or less" increased the ancillary ingredients. The only substitution he made was to slice a piece of prosciutto instead of pancetta which goes into the cavity. To complete the ingredient list there's rosemary, sage, lemon peel, EVOO, S & P, lemon juice.

        The seasoned chicken is settled breast side up into an aluminum foil lined roasting pan with enough foil to bring up around the top of the chicken to enclose it, then crimp the ends tightly. This is placed into a 350F oven to roast for 35 minutes. The temp is increased to 425F, chicken removed from oven, unwrapped, foil discarded but juices saved in the pan. This time the chicken is placed back into the oven breast side down. After 20 minutes the chicken is turned to over to one side and roasted for 10 minutes then turned to the other side and roasted for 10 more minutes. Finally, turn it breast side down and cook for the final 10-ish minutes.

        After resting in a warm platter, cut chicken into several pieces, pour the juices over, and lay the sliced pancetta over top. He really did an admirable job I would say. I only wish I could have seen what the platter of chicken looked like but we were on two different levels of the house. I'd like to make this recipe again with a simplification of the roasting technique, although I do think using a foil lining in the pan is necessary so the juices won't burn.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          I just noticed that this recipe also shows up in Marcella's Italian Kitchen on p. 189-90.
          Thanks for the detailed report, Gio!

          1. re: Goblin

            Hah... I used the recipe in the book, Goblin!
            That's the only book of Marcella's I own.

          2. re: Gio

            This recipe is from "Marcella's Italian Kitchen". I thought I had typed that when I reported this morning. Even after I answered Goblin's reply it didn't hit me that I hadn't.
            So much for being observant.

            1. re: Gio

              You've created a monster, Gio - there's no stopping G now he's found his inner chef!

              1. re: greedygirl

                I agree. LOL Although, I have to say he's quite modest about his culinary accomplishments.

            2. Fricassed Chicken with Black Olives (p. 193, MIK)

              This is an easy week night dinner. Lulu and her Dad raved; for me it was fine but nothing special. Chicken is browned with smashed garlic in olive oil. Garlic is removed, white wine and white wine vinegar are added (at this point there is a very iffy direction - she has you cover the pan but says "when the liquid has evaporated by half" - how is the liquid going to evaporate with the lid on the pan? - I took it off). Once the liquids have reduced you add chopped olives and anchovies, cover and continue cooking. When the chicken is ready add whole pitted olives, parsley and basil and let cook a minute or two longer. Add lemon juice, stir together and serve. I used skinless/boneless because I didn't want flabby skin, and am sure they would have been a bit more succulent if I'd just taken the skin off thighs with bones in them. Served over polenta with fennel salad on the side.

              1. Scallops with Tomato, Garlic, and Rosemary, Marcella Cucina, page 245.

                This was a surprising dish for me. I don't associate scallops with the profound piney aroma of rosemary, and this recipe calls for a good helping of it. Hazan states that the rather liberal use of rosemary here "is an exception to the restrain that most Italian cooks exercise when working with fragrant ingredients." I only landed upon this recipe because I had scallops in the freezer, rosemary in the yard, and the very few other ingredients on hand.

                First the garlic is sautéed in oil, then the rosemary is added. Next come tomatoes. They are stirred until the fat begins to separate from the sauce. She refers to a tip on page 133, which states that as the tomatoes cook down, and the water evaporates, when you drag a spoon across the pan the fat following the spoon's trail will be clear. Then the sauce will be done. Worked like a charm.

                Scallops were added, cooked for a couple minutes, then removed to let the liquid emitted by the scallops reduce. Mine had very little, and the scallops were quickly returned to the pan for the last minute of cooking.

                That was it, and dinner was served. Very simple, tasty, and fragrant.

                3 Replies
                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  I remember there being a Melissa Clark recipe, I think in Cook This Now, that had scallops with rosemary and capers. In that recipe I found the rosemary didn't really work for me with the scallops, but Lulu loved it. I don't think that there was tomato in MC's recipe, and I think that would definitely help.

                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                    Stunning! And you have the most unusual beautiful dishes, LN :)

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      Beautiful, and herby is right, you have lovely dishes. I need to follow your example and get something with colour. Every dish in my cupboard is white.

                    2. Roast Pork Loin with Juniper and Rosemary, MIK, pg. 235

                      What a wacky way to cook pork roast--but the results, while more of a braise than a roast, were wonderful.

                      First rub a pork loin, in my case on the bone rather than boned, with rosemary, crushed juniper berries and S&P, put the meat in a baking dish uncovered and then blast the meat for an hour at 475!

                      Remove the meat from the oven, and put the roast into a heavy stove-top casserole dish with tomatoes that have been passed through a food mill (actually, Pomi chopped tomatoes whizzed in the MFP in my case) and some butter, cook covered, low and slow for 1.5 hours.

                      Wow, really unctuous moist pork with incredible depth, the rosemary and juniper are less assertive than I would have guessed, everything just melds together wonderfully.

                      MH writes that this is best served immediately, and I was a bit concerned that the leftovers might not be very good, but in fact the meat sliced thinly and heated in what was left of the sauce made for wonderful open faced sandwiches.

                      1. Boiling Fish in the Italian Manner, Pg. 178, Marcella's Italian Kitchen
                        Pesce Lesso

                        This technique is very different than poaching fish. It involves boiling a carrot sliced in half (I quartered it), a couple of celery stalks sliced into thirds, an onion sliced in half, and a couple of whole parsley stem w leaves. A glug of wine vinegar (I used white) and salt are added after the stock has boiled 5 minutes. At this time place the fish into the boiling water, cover, cook for about 10 minutes per inch.

                        The fish used should be either a whole, 2 pound or more head and tail on fish, or fish steaks. We had 1. 61 pounds of, what looked like to me, a long side of cod loin. It was just about 3/4 inch thick. We cooked it for a tad less than 9 minutes. Drain the fish and brush it with EVOO. The stock was too salty for us so we tossed it but served a few pieces of carrot with each serving.

                        G loved this. "Absolutely delicious", he said. For myself, I thought it was overcooked, by really not much but I prefer fish to be glisteningly opalescent. The flavor was slightly acidic, slightly vegetal, somewhat moist. In the end I think it has potential. The leftovers will make a tasty fish salad. Additionally, I served broccoli sauteed in the Italian style with golden garlic slices/ anchovies/EVOO, and a simple baked sweet potato.

                        1. Pan-Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Warm Salmoriglio and Capers (Pesce Spada al Salmoriglio Caldo) p. 253 from Marcella Cucina

                          Swordfish with salmoriglio is one of the easiest and delicious ways to each fish. It reminds me of the summer.

                          Here, the swordfish is cooked on both sides, but not completely then set aside. The fish is put back into the skillet, topped with the salmoriglio (an emulsified combination of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and s & p). Off the heat, add capers.

                          This version is slightly different than most I’ve tried, because the sauce is heated briefly instead of poured over the fish. It is lemony, tangy and bright.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: BigSal

                            Pan-Grilled (Ling Cod) with Warm Salmoriglio and Capers, page 253, Marcella Cucina

                            I never see swordfish around here, and couldn't even get halibut, so went with ling cod, which worked just fine.

                            I'm curious, BigSal, about your salmoriglio. Mine emulsified beautifully, was thick and creamy, but turned to clear liquid as soon as it hit the pan. I did skip one step, as it didn't make sense to me to remove the fish from the pan, and next, put the fish back into the pan. Anyway, it was still delicious, but not the result I expected.

                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                              @L. Nightshade, I see how my description might have led you astray. My results were like yours, the salmoriglio is emulsified going in, but not in the finished dish .

                              There is a version in Essentials that stays emulsified because it is poured over the cooked fish.

                              1. re: BigSal

                                Thanks BigSal! This was certainly delicious, emulsified or not, but I may well try the version in Essentials.

                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                  The Essential version is simpler (if I recall correctly, it does not include garlic or capers). If you enjoy fish with salmoriglio, Paula Wolfert's version in World of Food (Involtini of Swordfish) is quite good. It is a little fussier since you have to flatten and roll the swordfish.

                          2. Split Chicken with Herbs and White Wine, Pg. 190, Marcella's Italian Kitchen
                            Pollo Spiccata agli Odori e Vino Bianco

                            When I first tasted the cooked chicken I wondered if Marcella had broken all her own rules regarding Italian cooking because this was robust, bold, almost- too-rich flavor to the core. The timing was practically non-existent save for ten minutes at the end. The cooking was a bit of a do but not complicated. Certainly the tastiest recipe we've cooked from this book.

                            I used a 3 1/2 lb organic, free range chicken so larger than called for and adjusted the other ingredients accordingly. Instead of fresh basil I used dried marjoram. These were my only adjustments.

                            The chicken is to be spatchcocked and cooked whole in a large saute pan but because none of my pans were large enough G simply separated the two sides and fitted them into the pan. This worked quite well. After pounding each piece as flat as can be, butter and oil (EVOO) are melted, chicken added and browned on each side. Season with S & P and add all the other ingredients except the final addition of grated Parmigiano: white wine, parsley, garlic, bay leaves, basil, whole cloves, rosemary.

                            Cover the pan and on medium heat cook until the meat falls off the bone. G calculated about 20 - 30 minutes turning each piece every 10 minutes. Heat oven to 450F, put chicken on a baking dish skin side up, drizzle with clarified pan juices, sprinkle grated Parmigiano over top, bake 10 minutes - till cheese is melty-brown.

                            The secondary dish was Marcella's Smothered Cabbage in the Cooking and Preparation section on page 16. I'm not sure that was a good pairing because the cabbage was rich and delicious in it's own right. Probably plain steamed rice or boiled potatoes would have been better? Dunno. We'll see next time.


                            20 Replies
                            1. re: Gio

                              This went from "not on my radar" to "must try." Like you robust and bold are not adjectives I'd use to describe Marcella Hazan's dishes (at least the ones I've tried thus far).

                              Also, glad you are back in the kitchen with G. Thanks for sharing.

                              1. re: Gio

                                I hadn't even noticed this recipe, but your description of the chicken has my mouth watering. Think it would work with chicken parts? Maybe bone in thighs?

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  Yes, I do, LLM. In fact I thought of the very same thing. It's only pan roasted chicken, after all. Albeit with more seasoning than usual for her. Even the cloves made themselves known, ever so slightly.

                                2. re: Gio

                                  Split Chicken with Herbs and White Wine, Pg. 190, Marcella's Italian Kitchen

                                  Inspired by Gio's description, we made this last week. I had intended to make this with a whole chicken, but ended up making this with a large chicken breast, thigh and drumstick. We really enjoyed this dish. The skin, although not super crisp, was not flabby, the parmigiano crust adds lots of flavor and the pan juices were delicious. We also ate this with Smothered Cabbage and agree that potatoes (puree, roasted or boiled) or rice would have been a better pairing.

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Thanks to Gio and her review, I made the chicken with herbs and white wine from MIK, and boy, did we ever love it. I did sub chicken thighs for the whole spatchcocked chicken and it didn't seem to be a problem at all. Can't add much to Gio's excellent review other than to say yes yes yes, this is a great meal, especially on a cold, wet night. Everyone loved it. Served with cabbage, parsley, caper salad from one of the River Cafe books and some good crusty bread.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      Yay YayYay... I'm so happy it was a success LLM.

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        oh, that cabbage salad has been on my list for a while (it comes up every time I have a cabbage hanging around), glad to hear it's good!

                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                          It is definitely one of my go-to sides with Italian dishes.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            I'm probably making cioppino over Christmas and had pretty much decided to 'just' have that with good bread. Do you think that salad would go with cioppino?

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              It would go, but I'd go all out and have the one with blue cheese, maybe add some pears (red/green/white). I think that is the kind of over the top deliciousness that Christmas calls for, and I think it would work well with the cioppino. What time should I be there? ; )

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Kidding, but it does sound like a wonderful meal. I might steal your ideas ...

                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                    You flatter me :) Here's the cioppino recipe. Hope this isn't OT for COTM.


                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Thanks CO. I've made the easy version from Fish without a Doubt, which was a COTM, a few times and liked it very much. Might be a good C-eve type thing. I always try to go Italian seafood that night.

                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                          LLM, could you elaborate on that salad please? Sounds unique in the best possible way.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            Very simple salad that is a big hit with the caper loving Lulu. Small head of savoy cabbage sliced thinly, some chopped parsley, a few tablespoons of capers (they call for rinsed, but since I'm using bottled I just toss in drained ones and use less salt in the dressing). Red wine, olive oil - season, toss. This is nice when you're having something with tons of flavor and richness and want a salad, but something a little different. And of course a good winter salad since cabbage is easy to come by this time of year.

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Thanks SO much! We get pretty bored with "leafy green vegetables" in the winter. This sounds super...and easy. Two of my favorite things :) Oops, did you mean to write red wine vinegar?

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Oops!! Guess my mind is already on drinking ... holidays can do that to you. You guessed right. I meant to write red wine vinegar.

                                                There is also a great salad with radicchio, walnuts and blue cheese in one of the River Cafe books. Hard not to love that combination.

                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                Sounds great! Is it from one of the Easy books?

                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                  Yes, Italian Two Easy, page 28. As badly edited as those books are, they really do contain some winners.

                                        3. Sausages and Potatoes, Country Style, with tomato, garlic and bay leaves (MIK p. 236)

                                          I was hoping this would be great; it was good but not spectacular. I used Italian turkey sausages from WFs, so maybe that made the difference. Anyway, you slice garlic and onions and add to a covered pan with olive oil and the sausages over low heat. Once the onions have softened you uncover the pan, raise heat to high and cook until the onions darken a bit. Add tomatoes (she has you boiling and peeling and chopping 1 pound - I used canned italian tomatoes chopped up instead) and bay leaves and turn down the heat to medium and cook for 10-12 minutes. Then add sliced potatoes and salt and pepper. Cook until the potatoes are softened. The potatoes I really did love; I just felt like the sausage was a bit tough from all that cooking. The best thing about this recipe was how good it smelled while cooking. Lulu had the day off from school and had a friend over for a playdate. The girl kept running into the kitchen and saying "That smells so good. I wish I could have some!" But of course it wasn't ready yet, and I didn't want to be feeding her raw potatoes.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            LLM, I think that probably those chicken sausages were quite lean, especially coming from WF. I know that when I substitute Italian turkey sausages for pork I always have to adjust because of the fat content, although I think the Italian ones have more fat than others of the same ilk. I'm assuming you cooked the sausages whole and didn't prick them before hand.

                                            I can just see chunks of fresh bread being dragged through that sauce.

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              I think you're absolutely right. In many recipes using those sausages is not a problem, but in this one I think it was. I think maybe if I'd waited and put them in later in the process they would have been juicier and more tasty. And yes, the sauce was delightful - and sort of soaked into the potatoes which is what made those the star of the show for me.

                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                              Sausages and Potatoes, Country Style, with Tomato, Garlic, and Bay Leaves, Pg. 236, MIK
                                              Salsiccie e Patate alla Paesana

                                              A hearty Saturday night dinner for us. The sausages I used were in-house made chicken sausages with broccoli rabe from our favorite Italian market, so there was quite a bit of flavor there. Two of these weighed the requisite pound. All the other ingredients were used with no substitutions. There were a few short-cuts, though: fresh unpeeled and unseeded tomatoes, and unpeeled yellow waxy new potatoes I had never had before and Loved. I did not prick the sausages. The tomatoes were chopped and the potatoes were sliced into thin wedges.

                                              LulusMom describes the procedure well so I'll simply add our thoughts. Although there are several long cooking segments we thought the sausages cooked very well, not tough or over cooked. Six bay leaves sliced in half contributed to the over all subtle flavor with an onion-y and garlicky background. No need for crusty bread here as the potatoes provide the heft. I felt the tomatoes cooked away to barely nothing but contributed to the sauce. I think I'd like to see a bit of tomato paste added as well.

                                              There's nothing left, even though I only ate a half sausage. G loved this dish. Additionally I served the Smothered Cabbage in the Venetian Style, Pg. 16, for the second time this month. Perfect!

                                            3. Fricasseed Chicken Abbruzzi-Style with Rosemary, White Wine, [Cherry] Tomatoes, and Olives - Marcella Cucina, p. 273

                                              This is a simple-to-make recipe involving barely more than what's in the title, ingredient-wise, and the result is a delicious dish quite full of flavor. I made two alterations, one of an ingredient, the other of proportions. By far the best tomatoes I can get at the moment are not cherry, but small, dry-farmed Early Girls from the local farmers' market, so that's what I used, cut in chunks and added at the end per the recipe instructions, where they did remain juicy and sweet, as is her aim in using cherry tomatoes and adding them late, per the head note. I also used just two large, bone-in thighs, so about a third of the weight called for, but I did not reduce the other ingredients, so simply ended up with more "sauce," all of which was happily consumed.

                                              To prepare the dish, the chicken is browned in a bit of olive oil with whole peeled garlic cloves and chopped rosemary (she has you put it all in at once, but I added the garlic and rosemary when I turned the chicken), then salt, finely chopped chile (I used red pepper flakes), and white wine are added and the pan is covered and all is cooked over low heat until the chicken is done. At this point, the tomatoes and Nicoise olives (I halved these) go in just until the tomatoes are lightly cooked, and that's it.

                                              All these flavors just worked very well together, not surprisingly, with the slight acidity of the wine playing against the sweet tomatoes, mellow garlic, salty and savory olives, and woodsy rosemary. I found myself trying to get a bit of everything into each bite of chicken for the full effect.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                I have this book and have never cooked from it! This sounds perfectly delicious.

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                  This sounds very delicious and simple at the same time. I only have MIK but think that I could recreate from your description. What did you serve it with?

                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    Hi herby, I had some roasted vegetables on the side, but I'm not someone who always wants something carby even if there's sauce. I think sauteed greens would work great with this, actually.

                                                    It goes like this: Brown your chicken pieces in a T of olive ol with 4-5 peeled garlic cloves and 2 tsp chopped rosemary, then add salt, 1/4 tsp (or to taste) finely chopped hot chile, and 1/2 cup dry white wine. Scrape up any brown bits, cover, cook on low heat ~35 min, until chicken's very tender, then add 20 small cherry tomatoes (fewer if larger) and 12 Nicoise olives (I sliced these in half) and cook just until the tomatoes' skins begin to crack.

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      Thank you so much Caitlin! I put your directions into Pepperplate and will make it as soon as my fridge empties out. I actually have very nice yellow grape tomatoes and there are chicken thighs in the freezer.

                                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Fricasseed Chicken Abbruzzi-Style with Rosemary, White Wine, Cherry Tomatoes, and Olives, Pg. 273, Marcella Cucina
                                                    Pollo all'Abruzzese coi Pomodorini e Le Olive

                                                    This recipe had that Must Make label as soon as I saw Caitlin's report of it. My father's family came from Abbruzzi, Torre la Nocelli, high in the mountains to be exact.
                                                    So I had to see if it tasted anything like my grandmother cooked. We did have the last of the cherry tomatoes from the farm, but I had to sub Kalamata olives for Nicoise and used red pepper flakes. The white wine I used was a Vinho Verde. Finally because I don't have Marcella Cusina I relied on the on-line recipe. I can only hope it was fairly accurate.

                                                    Caitlin described the process and the on-line recipe is above, so I'll simply say we enjoyed it very much and thought the finished dish was very tasty. All the flavors seemed to meld together to create a well balanced seasoned chicken that was tender with a slightly unctuous fragrant sauce. Fresh Italian bread was used to make sure not a drop of sauce was missed.

                                                    As for being like my grandmother's chicken I have to say not very much. I think hers was more like a Cacciatore. But still this did bring back good memories.

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      Fricasseed Chicken Abbruzzi-Style with Rosemary, White Wine, CherryTomatoes, and Olives - Marcella Cucina, p. 273

                                                      Just chiming in to share our enthusiasm for this dish. The only changes made were seasoning the chicken before putting them in the saute pan and we also briefly broiled the chicken to re-crisp the skin after braising (thank you for the suggestion delys77).

                                                      So much to like about this (sweet tomatoes, salty olives, roasted garlic, a bit of heat, fragrant rosemary and the rich sauce). Both the Mr. and I agreed that this is a repeater.

                                                    2. Sliced Pork Tenderloin with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Balsamic Vinegar, P. 232, Marcella's Italian Kitchen
                                                      Fettine di Maiale in Saur, con Aceto Balsamico

                                                      This was a Very Big Deal. And, all the tribute goes to G who took the book and slogged his way though the recipe, not deviating nor changing anything one iota. I did give him suggestions about which pan to use and other such trivial tips, but it was he and he alone who did yeoman service.

                                                      The result was a gorgeous agridolce of superbly succulent tenderloin slices, perfectly floured and and cooked, with raisins for sweetness, balsamico for sour, and pine nuts for crunch. At one point in the middle of cooking he ran to the foot of the stairs and yelled up, "This is horrible!" and ran back to the kitchen.

                                                      Raisins are soaked in a combination of water and red wine vinegar. Mountains of onions are sliced very thinly and slow cooked till "blond gold." The tenderloin is pounded even thinner, dredged in flour, quickly browned on both sides, then set aside on a platter. The onions go back into the pan along with more red wine vinegar, drained raisins, pine nuts. Cook this for a bit then stir in the balsamico. This mixture becomes the sauce for the pork. Lord, but it was seriously delicious, if you like sweet & sour as we do.

                                                      G also roasted a whole butternut squash according to an Ina Garten recipe and had that going even before he tackled the tenderloin. The dishes were perfect together.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Have you got that guy his Toque Blanche yet?

                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                            Shhhh.... That's for Christmas. Thanks, LLM & Q!

                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                            That made me laugh out loud, Gio! I might start doing that too at particularly fraught kitchen moments!

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              G sounds like a riot! Glad that he persevered and the dish turned out great.

                                                            2. Fricasseed Chicken with Onions p. 192 Marcella's Italian Kitchen


                                                              Thinly sliced onion is slow cooked for about an hour until soft and "nut brown." Chicken (dredged in flour and browned) is added to the cooked onions, then cognac and cook for about 45 minutes. Finish with parsley.

                                                              The resulting dish is a tender chicken with a rich flavor from the caramelized onions.