weekend in food
After a particularily gooey failure at making the Zuni Cafe ricotta gnocchi, we decided instead to attempt to recreate one of my favorite things – Petto di Pollo alla Genovese, lemon garlic chicken, from the adored ‘Stino da Napoli in Rocky River, Ohio. I make sure I get to this restaurant each time I visit home, and I always order this chicken. This is what we did, and we came fairly close to the real thing. We pounded some good chicken breasts between layers of plastic wrap (this keeps everything very clean). I saw a segment (similar) on the Food Network that Martha Stewart did on this, she used a cool meat pounder like this one and smashed the hell outta that meat. We used the only thing we could find since we lack most culinary tools — a small rubber mallet from the tool box. It worked pretty well, but pound really really thin as the chicken will get thicker as it cooks. Dredge the chicken through some flour. Have ready some freshly chopped garlic, say one clove for each piece of chicken, a thin slice of lemon for each piece, and some lemon halves for squeezing. Heat some of the more fragrant kind of olive oil (ours was Trader Joe’s brand) and throw the chicken in, cook until golden browny on one side and turn over. A few minutes before it looks done throw the garlic in the pan (you want lots of good garlic flavor, but not crispy brown garlic). Put the chicken on plates, sprinkle on some salt, give each piece a good squeeze of lemon over the top, and drop on the slice of lemon for visual appeal. Wha-la. It’s not neccessarily good for you, but it’s good, and simple. I’m sure this technique has some fancy name I’m unaware of, so this whole paragraph has been for those of us who are otherwise clueless.