Gardenguru's Pollo alla siciliana

cloudy_christineApril 5, 2013

Joe (Gardenguru) was mentioned on a recent thread on Indian cooking. I was thinking how much we lost when he left the forum.
His chicken recipe is one of my all-time favorites. It's one of those recipes where you read the ingredients and think, oh, I'd just wing something like that, but you really shouldn't. This is a more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts recipe.

Pollo alla Siciliana

(capelli d'angelo in brodetto di pollo alle erbe)

Recipe by Joe Seals (Gardenguru) (a version he posted)
Serves 4

2 boned and skinned chicken breast halves
cut into thin strips (1/4 inch thick, 1/2 inch wide,
1 inch long)
6 Tbs flour
1âÂÂ2 Tbs red pepper flakes [CC: I leave this out, as always]
1 tsp fresh ground pepper salt to taste [optional]
2 Tbs yellow onion sliced thin
6 cloves garlic sliced
2 Tbs butter
4 Tbs olive oil
1âÂÂ4 cup tomatoes seeded, peeled, diced
1âÂÂ2 tsp dried oregano (or a couple of sprigs of fresh)
3 Tbs fresh basil chopped
2 Tbs fresh parsley chopped
12 ounces chicken broth *
8 ounces angel hair pasta *
*another version of this recipe on the forum doubles most quantities but has 12 oz. broth and 12 oz. pasta, but Joe did post this one

Flatten chicken breasts and cut into 1âÂÂ2" by 1" strips. In a plastic storage bag, mix flour, pepper flakes, and ground pepper. Put chicken strips into bag and shake.

Slice onion and garlic. If using fresh tomatoes, peel, seed, and chop. Chop parsley and basil.

When all ingredients are prepared, put water on to boil for the pasta.

Heat 1âÂÂ2 of the butter and olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add 1âÂÂ2 of the chicken strips and brown each side lightly. Remove chicken from skillet with a slotted spoon, add remainder of butter and oil, heat, and add remainder of chicken. Remove when browned.

Add onion to skillet, reduce heat, and sauté until soft. Scrape chicken bits from bottom of skillet. Add garlic and sauté briefly (not brown).

Add tomatoes, oregano, basil, and parsley. Mix thoroughly and heat well. For a thicker "sauce", add a tablespoon or so of the remaining dredging flour at this point.

Add chicken stock and simmer until reduced a little.

Return chicken to skillet, mix thoroughly, and reduce heat to lowest setting.

Add pasta to boiling water.

Put drained pasta onto plates and spoon chicken and sauce onto pasta.

[My note: do not combine capellini with broth in pan; it will soak it all up.]

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Wowza. That sounds like something I would enjoy. I'd reduce the red pepper flakes, but I am not a fan of spicy-hot food.

CC, other than not using the red pepper, do you use this exact recipe?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Thanks, CC, Elery would love that and I'd forgotten about it.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 1:59PM
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We have enjoyed this recipe many times but not in a long while. Thanks CC it will be on the menu this week......sans the red pepper flakes because "himself" is a wimp!

I too miss Joe, and so many others, that have contributed so many good recipes over the years.

My recipe book is full of great recipes from here....and after 12 years I still have a huge "To Be Tried" file.......!!!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Yes, Pam, I make it just like that. Although the 1/4 cup of tomatoes might overflow a bit. There were several versions on the forum (it was a popular recipe here), and I remember looking around to find one that Joe himself posted.

Annie, I posted this because of you. You mentioned on another thread that there were so many posts with no recipes. So I thought it might be good to revisit some favorites.

Sharon, my to-try file requires me to live to be 200 at least. I need a schedule!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I also have a towering "to try" pile, and yet every time I think of trying something new, I go looking for yet another recipe rather than going to that pile. My Recipe Box on Allrecipes is ridiculous and my Recipes folder on Pinterest is the biggest one I have. I can blame Wizard NM for that, since all I do is repin the great stuff she finds.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:52PM
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I always need new chicken recipes. Thank you. I've clipped this one.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:53PM
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I too love this recipe. I use a "pinch" of red pepper flakes, as one DD is not a fan of heat. And speaking of Joe and recipes, Joey's Killer Lasagna has been my go to recipe for lasagna for several years now. Used to just wing it, but have never done it any other way since I tried this recipe. It makes a photo worthy lasagna that cuts beautifully.
"Joey's Killer Lasagna"...

Makes eight big portions.
1 medium onion -- chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage -- casings removed and broken up
1/2 pound ground veal
2 cloves garlic -- minced
4 ounces mushrooms -- chopped
15 ounces tomato sauce
12 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon oregano -- leaves
1 teaspoon basil -- crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces mozzarella cheese -- thinly sliced
1 pound Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
12 ounces lasagna noodles

Saute the chopped onion in the olive oil. Add and cook the ground meats, starting with the sausage, then the beef, then the veal.

Add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook. Drain.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine, water, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Simmer covered for 1-1/2 hours.

Cook the lasagna noodles while sauce is simmering. Use 10 to 16 pieces depending on the width of the noodles. Drain, rinse, drain again. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Cover the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of the sauce. Layer: 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the Ricotta cheese (in dollops), 1/3 of the Mozzarella. Repeat twice more. Cover with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered in a 350-degree oven for 40-50 minutes, or until bubbly.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Gardenguru had some great Italian recipes!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 9:50PM
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why did joe leave the forum?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:21PM
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We made this tonight, and it was wonderful. I'm wondering why you left out the red pepper flakes, CC? Even if you tried the dish with half the amount called for, it's a nice little 'bite' without being in the least bit 'hot'.

It's a keeper of a recipe, thank you for posting it. We'll keep it and make it often.

Edited for typo.

This post was edited by sushipup on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 1:02

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Thanks for a blast from our past! My dad used to love this recipe and I''d forgotten all about it. Joe also had a terrific lentil soup recipe and he taught me to use epazote to counteract the possible result from bean & lentil products!
He was a good contributor and he has been missed. Thanks for resurrecting this one for us!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:42AM
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Lindalou, I'm not sure but I think he and another member had some strong differences of opinion. I think both members left.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:42AM
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Wow... I had forgotten about this recipe! It is def going back into the rotation. Thanks CC for bringing back a great recipe and memories of another much missed member.....


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:49AM
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I always leave out red pepper. I'm a delicate flower when it comes to hot foods. Half a tablespoon is a significant amount, so I guess I have actually never tasted the recipe as Joe wrote it.

Ellen, would you post the lentil soup recipe, please?

I'm glad people are enjoying this one.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:22AM
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