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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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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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
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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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Shrimp Piccata – Quick and Easy – 25 Minutes

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Shrimp Piccata is another

..quick and easy traditional Italian recipe that..

.. is still a great weeknight dinner for busy people.

In the United States it is most frequently done with chicken breast filets and served with pasta.

We have posted a recipe for chicken piccata and another for Salmon Piccata

In Italy it is most often made with veal and served by itself as the “secundo” or main course.

If you and your gang like shrimp then you will love this Shrimp Piccata. 

You can buy your shrimp already thawed, peeled and deveined in the seafood section of your grocery store. If your shrimp have to be thawed it will just take a couple of minutes in the microwave and a few more to peel and devein.

Put a pot of salted water on at medium high and add the pasta. When the water starts to simmer the pasta will be done. Stir it a few times while it’s cooking. If it is al dente before you are done with the Shrimp Piccata just drain off the water, drizzle in a little olive oil and stir it up getting the pasta all coated with the oil. Put it on an idle back burner to keep warm.

In fact, when the Shrimp Piccata is ready you could heat up the pasta right  in the Shrimp Piccata.

Put a skillet on at medium high and add the butter. While the butter melts slice up the lemon and add the slices to the pan.

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Give the lemon slices about a minute in the butter then add the salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (optional), white wine, garlic, capers, basil and parsley.

Mix it all together and push it all out to the outside edge of the pan. Add the shrimp laying them out flat.

Bring it up to a fast simmer and after about a minute turn the shrimp over. 

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After another minute add the grated parmesan cheese and stir it up as the cheese melts and thickens your Shrimp Piccata.

Serve your Shrimp Piccata over the pasta and top it with some grated parmesan. and parsley flakes.

Bon Appetito!

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We had the rest of that nice bottle of white wine – an Italian Soave – with our Shrimp Piccata. 

And of course some of Poppop’s easy homemade bread for dipping!

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Shrimp sautéed in white wine with lemon slices and capers.
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put a skillet on at medium high and add the butter. While the butter melts slice up the lemon and add the slices to the pan. Give the lemon slices about a minute in the butter then add the salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (optional), white wine, garlic, capers, basil and parsley. Mix it all together and push it all out to the outside edge of the pan. Add the shrimp laying them out flat. Bring it up to a fast simmer and after about a minute turn the shrimp over. After another minute add the grated parmesan cheese and stir it up as the cheese melts and thickens your Shrimp Piccata.
  2. Serve your Shrimp Piccata over the pasta and top it with some grated parmesan. and parsley flakes.
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Filet Mignon – Quick and Easy – 30 Minutes

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If Filet Mignon sounds a little too restauranty and chefy for you to make at home.

That is not so!

It definitely qualifies as Quick and Easy and …….

……..it’s not real expensive. You can get USDA choice beef tenderloin steaks for $8.99 – $9.99 a pound at Costco and Sam’s. A pound will give you two big (8oz.) steaks or 3 -4 regular size.

And,,,you will still get this great meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Tonight I put some string beans and onions in a skillet on a burner set at medium heat with salt, pepper, lemon juice and butter.

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Stir them a few times as they do their thing. When the onions have started to wilt add the white wine – or chicken stock – and let the wine simmer and reduce a little.

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While the veggies are getting cooked. Multi task a little and put another skillet on a medium high and swirl about a tablespoon of olive oil in.

Salt pepper and garlic powder both sides of your beef tenderloin steaks and put ’em in the skillet. Just sear each side for about 2 minutes and …..

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……put them in a dish that will catch the drippings and put the dish on an idle burner to keep warm. Don’t worry about them not being cooked on the inside they are going to cook some more in with the wine and the mushrooms.Filet Mignon-3-poppopcooks.com-beef tenderloin-beef tenderloin recipe-beef steak-beef recipes-tenderloin-easy filet mignon recipe-Quick and easy-gluten free-paleo

Rinse off the mushrooms. You could use bigger ones than shown here and cut them up. We like these baby portabellas.

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If you are using jarred mushrooms just drain them. Put the mushrooms in the steak pan and brown them a little.

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Add the salt, pepper, onions, garlic and rosemary.

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Stir it up and let it cook until the onions just start to brown a little on their edges and add the butter and the red wine. Stir with a wooden spoon scraping the bits of meat off the bottom.

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Put the steaks and the drippings back in and turn them over a few times as the butter melts and the wine reduces. When the filet mignon is cooked to the degree of doneness that YOU want   – rare is soft to a poke or 140-145° on a meat thermometer – starting to get firm or 155-160° is medium – firm or 165-170° is well done.

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Serve up and enjoy your Filet Mignon. Top the steaks off with the onions and a little of the sauce.

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Oh yeah, and get after the rest of that red wine. We had a nice bottle of pinot noir with our filet mignon.

Of course some of Poppop’s easy homemade bread is always nice too.

 

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Prep Time 10 minutes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
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Instructions
  1. put some string beans and onions in a skillet on a burner set at medium heat with salt, pepper, lemon juice and butter. Stir them a few times as they do their thing. When the onions have started to wilt add the white wine - or chicken stock - and let the wine simmer and reduce a little.
  2. Salt pepper and garlic powder both sides of your beef steaks and put 'em in the skillet. Just sear each side for about 2 minutes and put them in a dish that will catch the drippings and put the dish on an idle burner to keep warm. Don't worry about them not being cooked on the inside they are going to cook some more with the onions and mushrooms.
  3. Rinse off the mushrooms. You could use bigger ones than shown here and cut them up. We like these baby portabellas. If you are using jarred mushrooms just drain them. Put the mushrooms in the steak pan and brown them a little.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, onions, garlic and rosemary. Stir it up and let it cook until the onions just start to brown a little on their edges and add the butter and the red wine. Stir with a wooden spoon scraping the bits of meat off the bottom. Put the steaks and the drippings back in and turn them over a few times as the butter melts and the wine reduces. When the filet mignon is cooked to the degree of doneness that YOU want - rare is soft to a poke or 140-145° on a meat thermometer - starting to get firm or 155-160° is medium - firm or 165-170° is well done.
  5. Serve up and enjoy your Filet Mignon. Top the steaks off with the onions and a little of the sauce.
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