Pan roasted chicken with rosemary is simple – not too many ingredients and easy to prepare.
Remove backbone with poultry shears and cut chicken in half. Your butcher can do that for you if you’d like.
Mix rosemary, garlic, ½ of the oil and ½ tsp. each of kosher salt and black pepper. Grind with a mortar and pestle. Rub this mix all over chicken cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 400o and put rack in lower 3rd. Heat the pan on the top of the stove with the rest of the oil. Put the room temperature chicken in the pan, skin side down, and brown it for about 5 minutes.
Move the pan to the pre-heated oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes. When almost done, turn chicken and roast another five minutes to crisp the skin. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let it rest about 10 minutes before serving.
A simplecucina povera recipe – pasta and cauliflower – dressed up with pancetta, breadcrumbs, walnuts and currents. A friend got me this recipe from his grandmother. She was born in Trapani so I’m assuming that’s where this recipe originated. Her instructions were ‘some’ of this, ‘enough’ of that and ‘cook it until it’s done.’ I tried it a few times and this is what I came up with. (Bacon is not a substitute for pancetta. It’s too smokey. If you don’t have pancetta, use some diced pork or no meat at all.)
Soak the currents in warm water for 15 minutes. Sauté pancetta until it starts to brown then add breadcrumbs. Mix and brown crumbs, then add walnuts and drained currents. Mix and simmer for a few minutes, then remove and wipe out pan.
Add oil to pan and put in cauliflower, salt and pepper, on medium heat. Cook until lightly browned on all sides and softened.
In a pot, sauté onion in oil, salt and pepper. When the onion is softened and transparent, add the stock. When it comes to a boil add the pasta and when it’s almost done add the cauliflower. Deglaze the cauliflower pan with the wine (or water) and add that to the pot. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the parsley and pancetta-bread crumb mix and stir. It’s ready to serve.
The food that Italian immigrants ate was certainly cheap and delicious and highly nutritious… And they would go out and collect dandelion greens, take them home, and saute them in a little olive oil… You want vitamins, there’s a great source of vitamins! …they had great pasta dishes, which were very good, filled with flavor and filled with nutrients. It’s tragic that we didn’t look to their example for foods to eat during the Great Depression, but that wasn’t “science,” and also that was “un-American.”
Italian desserts are usually simple. Elaborate cakes and pastries are served at special occasions. Fruit is much more common. Here’s an easy recipe that I got from a friend from Ischia – Grapes and Vinegar. It’s good in summer.
Wash the grapes and put them in a small sauce pan. Cover half way with water and add the vinegar. Bring to a boil, stir, lower heat and simmer until they begin to crack. Turn off the heat and mix in lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and half of the chopped mint. Let it cool and then mix in the Marsala. Marsala works best but sweet sherry is also OK. Chill and sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint when serving.
I don’t usually fall for those late night TV commercials, you know, the ones saying things like, buy one, get one free,but wait there’s more and, act now for free shipping. I once bought this pair of super special driving sunglasses. I actually bought one and got one free. They were supposed to cut glare, help you see through haze and a few other things. The first time I wore them a lens fell out. Then the ear-piece broke off of the second “free” pair.
But even after that, the Gotham Steelfrying pan commercial got to me. There’s this fast talking English chef, cooking all sorts of things with it. Trying to burn and scrape it, but nothing bad ever happens. Burnt food just slides off and nothing seems to damage the coating. I saw the commercial a few times and I couldn’t resist. I forgot about the lousy sun glasses and went on line and bought one. I felt a little stupid but, what the hell, $19.99 plus shipping and handling, it was worth a try.
About a week later it arrived in the mail. It looked pretty good – solid and shiny. I started with something simple – hamburgers – and they were perfect. I’ve used it for other things since and it never let me down.
The pan was everything they said. Here’s a screen shot from their site listing its “Features and Benefits” and you can see, it’s even PTFE/FOA/PFOS FREE, whatever that means.