Little Italy Garlic Chicken – Butter – Garlic – Parsley – Lemon

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Little Italy Garlic Chicken is…

….Butter, Chicken, Garlic and Parsley plus a little lemon added to it. That is the whole shebang.  

Once again we have a “Quick and easy Recipe for Busy People” that is real real good.

Way back, when we lived in New Jersey we would frequently zip over to Little Italy in Manhattan for dinner.

Our very most favorite restaurant was this little place on Mulberry Street in Little Italy called the Grotto Azzurra aka The Blue Gratto in street speak.

It was opened in 1908 by a family of Italian immigrants and was named after the Blue Grotto on the isle of Capri. Which is just offshore from Naples.

When we were going there it was one level below street level and only had about 10 tables.

Frank Sinatra used to go there when he was in town as did Robert Dinero.  

Whenever we were there there were always a few “mob” looking types that you did not make eye contact with.

When we got in – after a wait in line – the server would immediately – and before any conversation – put a pitcher with some slices of oranges and lemons in it on the table and then pour in a bottle of red wine which then became Sangria. No questions asked, they would just do it for every party that came in.

I would almost always order the Garlic Chicken. It was, like so many good Italian recipes, simple and made with just a few fresh ingredients.

What I was served at the “Blue Gratto” very apparently was chicken thighs – skin on and bone in –  marinated in a garlic and oil mixture for at least a few hours, more likely over night.

Dredged in flour and sautéed in good olive oil with sliced garlic added at the last minute of the frying process. 

It would arrive with the garlic slices spooned over the chicken and topped with some chopped parsley and with just a little taste of lemon. 

It was fantastic!

After dinner we would walk around Little Italy for a little while and find our way around the corner to Ferrara’s Bakery and Cafe and have some of their world class Sfogliatella and/or……

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…..Cannoli

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with their made to order espresso that was brought to the table in the pot that it was made in and if you asked nice and had a history of tipping good a little Sambuca would magically appear in the bottom of your cup.

Forgive me when I say that I think that I have improved a little on the Blue Gratto version of Garlic Chicken….

….well,, for our “Quick and Easy” requirements anyway.

We don’t have time to marinate the chicken like they did at the Blue Gratto so let’s do it like this.

You can get pre trimmed and flattened chicken breasts in the grocery store or you could butterfly your chicken breasts and flatten them a little while wrapped in glad wrap.

For quick and easy I always have some of the pre trimmed version in the freezer and just thaw them out in the microwave.

Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom. 

Salt and pepper both sides of the breasts and pan fry them in the skillet for about 4-5 minutes a side.

When the liquid sneaking out of the breasts is clear and/or they are firm to a finger poke remove them to a plate that will catch the drippings.

While the chicken is cooking chop up the garlic cloves or just go with that pre chopped version that you can find in jars in the produce section and chop up the parsley leaves. Have the fresh lemon ready.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, let it melt and put the garlic in the skillet. Give the garlic just a minute or just until it starts to become fragrant. Put the chicken breasts and the drippings back in, squeeze the lemon juice in and toss in the rind. Turn them and spoon the butter and garlic on them as they warm back up. 

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When the chicken is warm, almost hot to the touch put in the parsley and do a little more of the turning and spooning.

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Serve it up!  Buon Appetito! 

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I put together some sautéed spinach as our veggie tonight and since we had some garlic and good extra virgin olive oil on hand (always) I had some pasta aglio e olio. Gammy eats gluten free so I put together some “spaghetti squash aglio e olio” for her.

 

Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio was our vino of choice to go with our Little Italy Garlic Chicken.

 

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Butter Chicken with Garlic and Parsley BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Chicken sautéed with butter, garlic and parsley.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Salt and pepper both sides of the breasts and pan fry them in the skillet for about 4-5 minutes a side. When the liquid sneaking out of the breasts is clear and they are firm to a finger poke remove them to a plate that will catch the drippings.
  2. While the chicken is cooking chop up the garlic cloves or just go with that pre chopped version that you can find in the produce section and chop up the parsley leaves. Have the fresh lemon ready. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, let it melt and put the garlic in the skillet. Give the garlic just a minute or just until it starts to become fragrant. Put the chicken breasts and the drippings back in, squeeze the lemon juice in and toss in the rind. Turn them and spoon the butter and garlic on them as they warm back up. When the chicken is warm, almost hot to the touch put in the parsley and do a little more of the turning and spooning.
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Date Night Filet Mignon can lead to happy endings

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Date Night Filet Mignon

A long long time ago when Gammy and were out on our first date I wanted to impress her so I took her to the fanciest, snootiest restaurant that I could find.

Even though she had grown up on a farm she had never heard of “Filet Mignon”. I wanted to impress her with my sophistication and worldly knowledge – yeah  right – so I convinced her to try Filet Mignon. I just told her that it was a “high class” kind of steak that I liked. 

She said, “Ok, I’ll try something new. I’m  here with you aren’t I?”

When the waiter took her order and asked how she would like it she said, “I’d like it rare, please.”

We joked through a few double entendres about “rare” and how she would like it as we enjoyed our wine.

In my efforts to impress her I had ordered a good Italian pinot noir.

“Wow, this is good! I’ve never had wine before. Just beer and sometimes a little bourbon.”

Since that first date we have always shared a bottle of wine with our dinners.

When our filet mignons were served she said, “Oh, it’s beef tenderloin steak”. 

So much for my efforts at making an impression.

Still to this day, almost 40 years later, on our “date nights” we just about always have Filet Mignon accompanied by a good Italian red wine.

I’ve done our Filet Mignon a lot of different ways. From just pan seared with salt and pepper to pizzaiola and everything in between. 

This way has become our favorite. 

What makes this way so good is the butter mixture that you will use to cook the steaks in and also top them with as you serve them.

Take your steaks out of the fridge and let them get closer to room temperature while you put together your butter mixture.

And for that butter mixture cut a half stick of butter into pads and put the pads on your cutting board. 

Mince the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the parsley.

Put the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, dried basil, cayenne pepper and grated parmesan on top of the butter and……

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……using a table knife or a small spatula smash it and mix it all together. Then form it into a kinda mini loaf of bread shape.

I learned this recipe a long time ago working at a fancy restaurant while still in high school. The chef would have me mix up the butter mixture and put it in ice cube trays and freeze them. So then they would be waiting for us during the busy dinner hours.

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Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in just about a tablespoon of olive oil and plunk in about a third of the butter mixture. 

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While the skillet is getting hot generously salt and pepper both sides of the filets.

When the oil and butter have stopped acting up and leveled out put in the steaks. The butter and oil will foam up again but that’s ok.

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Cook the steaks about 3 minutes a side then test them. When the steaks are just starting to get firm or they read 130° on an instant read meat thermometer they are rare. When they are definitely firm to a poke and read 165° they are well done. The in-betweens will give you medium rare, medium and medium well. I’m sure that your meat thermometer has the temperatures for all of the different meats listed on it.

Serve up your Filet Mignon steaks and top them with pads of the butter mixture and the liquid from the skillet.

 

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Some of Poppop’s easy homemade bread to dip in those juices is just about a must and for old times sake we had a real good bottle of Italian Pinot Noir with our Date Night Filet Mignon.

 

 

 

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Beef tenderloin steaks seared in and topped with butter laced with some herbs and spices.
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Instructions
  1. Take your steaks out of the fridge and let them get closer to room temperature while you put together your butter mixture. And for that butter mixture cut a half stick of butter into pads and put the pads on your cutting board. Mince the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the parsley. Put the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, dried basil, grated parmesan and cayenne pepper on top of the butter and using a table knife or a small spatula mix it all together and form it into a kinda mini loaf of bread shape.
  2. Put skillet on at medium high and swirl in just about a tablespoon of olive oil and plunk in about a third of the butter mixture. While the skillet is getting hot generously salt and pepper both sides of the filets. When the oil and butter have stopped acting up and leveled out put in the steaks. The butter and oil will foam up again but that's ok. Cook the steaks about 3 minutes a side and test them. When the steaks are just starting to get firm or they read 130° on an instant read meat thermometer they are rare. When they are definitely firm to a poke and read 165° they are well done. The in-betweens will give you medium rare, medium and medium well. I'm sure that your meat thermometer has the temperatures listed on it or they came with it on paper.
  3. Serve up your Filet Mignon steaks and top with the butter mixture and the liquid from the skillet.
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Chicken Pasta Primavera – Quick and Easy – 25 Minutes

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Chicken Pasta Primavera is a…..

…….Quick and Easy weeknight meal that you can put together with just about any vegetables that you have on hand.

Primavera translated from Italian means springtime but Pasta Primavera originated by an Italian chef in New York City in the 1970’s.

Enough history let’s get your Chicken Pasta Primavera going.

Put the chicken tenders in the microwave to thaw out while you cut up the vegetables. When I rooted around in the fridge I found some broccoli, asparagus, string beans, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, some mushrooms leftover from our last batch  of chicken marsala and some onions. But, literally, any vegetable or vegetables will work.

Put a large skillet or sauté pan on at medium high and swirl in some olive oil. While it’s heating up cut up the chicken tenders. When the pan is hot, put in the chicken and sprinkle it with some salt and pepper.

Put a pot of salted water on for your pasta and cook the pasta while you put together to Primavera part. If the pasta is al dente before the veggies are cooked just drain it and drizzle a little olive oil in. Stir it to get the pasta covered with the oil and put it on an idle back burner to keep warm while it waits its turn.

When the chicken has browned add all the veggies except the tomatoes and garlic. Stir it a few times as everything cooks.

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After about 3-4 minutes or when the veggies just start to get a little soft throw in the tomatoes and the garlic. Add the chicken broth or white wine, squeeze in the juice from a lemon and toss in the rind and stir it all together. When the liquid starts to simmer lower the heat to medium and simmer for a couple of minutes.

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Add the grated parmesan and stir it in to your Chicken Pasta Primavera then….

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…..serve it up!!

You just prepared  your Quick and Easy Chicken Pasta Primavera like a chef!!

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A chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio pairs up real good with Chicken Pasta Primavera.

 

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Course Main course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Course Main course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put a large skillet or sauté pan on at medium high swirl in some olive oil. While it's heating up cut up the chicken tenders. When the pan is hot, put in the chicken and sprinkle it with some salt and pepper.
  2. Put a pot of salted water on for your pasta and cook the pasta while you put together to Primavera part. If the pasta is al dente before the veggies are cooked just drain it and drizzle a little olive oil in. Stir it to get the pasta covered with the oil and put it on an idle back burner to keep warm while it waits its turn.
  3. When the chicken has browned add all the veggies except the tomatoes and garlic. Stir it a few times as everything cooks. After about 3-4 minutes or when the veggies just start to get a little soft throw in the tomatoes and the garlic. Add the chicken broth or white wine, squeeze in the juice from a lemon and toss in the rind and stir it all together. When the liquid starts to simmer lower the heat to medium and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the grated parmesan and stir it in to your Chicken Pasta Primavera then serve it up!!
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Sesame Chicken – Quick and Easy – 25 Minutes – Gluten Free

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Sesame Chicken is ….

…….what I order every time we go to our favorite Chinese restaurant, the Hunan Lion on South Lamar here in Austin.

It’s gotten to the point that the waitresses don’t even ask me what I want anymore. Gammy always gets Chicken and Broccoli, same deal.

I’ve tried a few different recipes that I found online and twisted and turned on them until I was happy with this one.

It is Quick and Easy and Delish which are the definite requirements here at poppopcooks.com

Having said all that here we go!

Put the minute rice ( or regular rice) on to cook, that is if you don’t have any leftover rice in the freezer waiting for you to microwave it. As suggested in my 10 tips for quick and easy weeknight meals.

Cut the chicken up into pieces a little bit bigger than bite size.

Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom.

In a bowl big enough to handle the chicken, mix together the egg, the cornstarch, the salt and pepper.

Put the chicken in the bowl and stir it up getting it covered with the egg mixture. Then put it all in the skillet. Be sure to add all of the egg mixture.

Stir it it right away and toss or stir it a few times as it cooks. 7-9 minutes.

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While the chicken is cooking, back to the bowl. Mix up all the other ingredients except the peas and their share of the chopped garlic.

Just before the chicken is done put another larger skillet on at medium high with enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Put the peas and the garlic in  and toss them often as they cook. They only need 2-3 minutes. The snow peas are best a little crispy not at all soggy.

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When the chicken is browned and is firm to a poke add the sauce and stir it in  getting the chicken all covered in that good stuff. The sauce will thicken up pretty quickly and as soon as it does…..

……enjoy your fresh off the stove Sesame Chicken.

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Chicken sautéed with a easily made sesame sauce served with snow peas and rice.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put the minute rice ( or regular rice) on to cook, that is if you don't have any leftover rice in the freezer waiting for you to microwave it.
  2. Cut the chicken up into pieces a little bit bigger than bite size. Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom. In a bowl big enough to handle the chicken, mix together the egg, the cornstarch, the salt and pepper. Put the chicken in the bowl and stir it up getting it covered with the egg mixture. Then put it all in the skillet. Be sure to add all of the egg mixture. Stir it it right away and toss or stir it a few times as it cooks. 7-9 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, back to the bowl. Mix up all the other ingredients except the peas and their share of the chopped garlic. Just before the chicken is done put another larger skillet on at medium high with enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Put the peas and the garlic in and toss them often as they cook. They only need 2-3 minutes. The snow peas are best a little crispy not at all soggy.
  4. When the chicken is browned and is firm to a poke add the sauce and stir it in getting the chicken all covered in that good stuff. The sauce will thicken up pretty quickly and as soon as it does..enjoy your fresh off the stove Sesame Chicken.
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