Makes 6 servings
Stewed chicken in red wine tomato sauce
Recipe by Jeanne Raffetto Tentis
Adapted from the recipe of my grandmother, Jennie Bonnini Raffetto
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 large onion, sliced
4-5 lb chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of excess fat
1 small can or equivalent tomato paste
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 c dry red wine ( i.e. Chianti, cabernet, merlot, burgundy)
¼ – ½ lb fresh mushrooms (criminni, or mixed wild, preferred)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or Pecorino Romano cheese
Heat olive oil in a deep heavy skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper and
brown in batches on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion and cook until soft but not brown. Add garlic and cook until aromatic being careful not to burn it. Return chicken to the pan.
Combine tomato paste with 1 ½ c wine until it is a thick sauce.
Pour over chicken and simmer over low heat until chicken is tender (about 30-35 minutes). Add remainder of the wine and the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve in a nest of hot polenta with freshly grated cheeses on top.
Note: This recipe is traditionally made with fresh rabbit. When available, this makes a wonderful dish. Prepare as you would chicken accept soak the rabbit in vinegar and salt water ( 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water with 3 T kosher salt) for 2-4 hrs, rinse thoroughly before seasoning.
Makes 8-10 servings
6 c water
1-2 t salt
2 c coarse ground corn meal (polenta)
3 T butter (optional)
Grated Parmesan and or Romano cheese (optional)
In a large deep pot (preferably one with a heavy bottom) bring water to a hard boil over high heat. Add salt. Gradually whisk in the polenta stirring constantly to avoid lumping. Another option is to reduce water to 5 c and add dry polenta to 1 c warm water before whisking into boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. For your safety, use a long handled wooden spoon as mixture will bubble and pop. Cook mixture until it comes away from the sides. 30- 40 minutes. If too thick, thin with water. Add butter and cheese, if desired. *****
Polenta can be placed in an oiled bowl of medium size. Let stand for 10 minutes. Invert onto flat plate, cut into slices and serve hot with your favorite sauce.
*****For Polenta with four cheeses, eliminate the butter and substitute Marscapone cheese. Add also equal amounts, about ½ cup each, asiago, provolone and romano cheeses.
MOTHER’S LEMON CAKE PIE Makes 1 9-inch pie
5 T flour
1 c sugar
2 egg yokes
2 T melted butter
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
Beat above ingredients at medium speed for 3 minutes.
Add 1 cup milk
Fold in beaten egg whites (previously beaten in small bowl).
Bake in raw crust 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Pie is done when top is light golden brown.
Top with whipped cream and berries, if desired.
Use any crust recipe you like, or use a pre-made crust from the store!