Vincent Gardenia's Chicken Gardenia
1 cleaned broiler-frying chicken, weighing about 3 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tbsps. margarine (or olive oil)
1 small onion, peeled, sliced
Juice of 1 large lemon
3/4 tsp. oregano
About 1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
8-10 small potatoes, parboiled in skins, until barely tender
Cut chicken into serving-size pieces; season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat margarine (or olive oil) in large skillet (or flame-proof casserole). Brown chicken and onion lightly. Add lemon juice, oregano, white wine and parsley to chicken. Cover and place in preheated 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes; add peeled potatoes, spooning juice over potatoes. Continue baking half and hour longer (or until chicken is tender). Serve at once! Great with hot cooked rice or hot garlic bread. Serves 4.
Vincent Gardenia's Pasta and Peas
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 lb. shells
Boiling salted water
2 cups canned peas (or cooked fresh peas)
About 1/4 cup hot liquid (chicken stock or water)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
Heat olive oil in large frying pan; add onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Saute until vegetables are limp, stirring over low heat. Meanwhile, cook shells according to package instructions in boiling salted water only until al dente. Drain shells. Add peas and liquid (just enough to moisten peas and pasta) and grated cheese. Serve alone or as side dish with fowl or seafood main dish. Serves 6-8.
Thoughts: The fun begins with the improvisation! Serve cold with garbanzo beans, chopped red onion, chopped fresh parsley, leftover shrimp or rounds of cooked, sliced sweet Italian sausage and strips of pimento.