Today, I’m going to give a glimpse into my Italian kitchen and how it differs from yours when I prepare baked chicken (an Italian mother staple) and a tossed salad.
First here is a peek into my childhood of numerous cousins who gathered each Sunday in a small town in Western New York for pasta at Grandma’s. Grandma and Grandpa grew grapes for years and sold them to Kraft. So September was grape picking month for all of us. Which explains the grapes mentioned in this preface of the family cookbook I published over thirty years ago.
1 large boneless chicken breast per person
1 cup buttermilk (regular milk if you must)
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (use the good stuff)
Cooking oil of choice. I prefer EVOO.
Pound chicken breasts until ¼ inch thick using a meat pounder. Tricky aren’t I? Then dip each one in buttermilk and egg mixture, and then in breadcrumbs. Use minimal oil –no more than two or three tablespoons, and hot frying pan. I use a Calphalon pan turned to medium. These pans are the best investment you will ever make. Lightly brown. That’s all. LIGHTLY BROWN AND FLIP.
Sprinkle with sea salt, and put in a covered pan or foil covered pan at 350 degrees for thirty minutes or until 165 degrees. Do not open pan and allow heat to escape until thirty minutes have passed. TRUST ME. This will be so deliciously tender you will send me your first born child as thanks. Don’t do it. I have an empty nest and like it that way.
These are amazing as leftovers the next night, so you may want to double the batch.
Add a nice salad and you are set. A loaf of Italian bread with the meal is optional.
Italian Antipasta Tossed Salad
Assemble ingredients, add and toss with the dressing of choice. My mother prefers olive oil and red wine vinegar with salt, pepper and garlic.
Romaine or leafy lettuce
Sliced black olives
Sliced fresh mushrooms
Cheese of choice. Fresh dill Havarti used here, but fresh mozzarella or real shredded Parmesan is nice too.
Sliced hardboiled egg.
Chopped Black Forest Ham
The salad is a meal in itself! What do you think? Are you familiar with antipasta salad like this??
More Italy from Tina Radcliffe.
A romantic comedy of Italian Proportions.....