Last week, my friend Linda and I were driving through town on our way to an Italian restaurant, to meet with our other friend, Karen, to have lunch. As we drove down First Capitol Drive here in Saint Charles, we happened to pass a tearoom, Miss Aimee B’s, that has been a Saint Charles landmark spot for decades, and one that I have enjoyed visiting since the 70s. My mother and I would go there for special occasions before shopping on Historic Main Street in downtown Saint Charles and it, coincidentally, was the first place that Linda, Karen, and I had lunch together. I was crushed to see it shuttered and with a For Sale sign in the front. We both were. At that point Linda also informed me that another favorite restaurant in another town that we both used to frequent had similarly closed.
Fortunately, family-owned restaurants often offer their own cookbooks, and I am always quick to grab one as soon as it becomes available. I have shared a number of recipes from the cookbook of Miss Aimee B’s including Old Fashioned Buttermilk-Coconut Pie, and a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler.
The other restaurant that recently closed was Rizzo’s, a wonderful Italian place, located close to where Jim and I used to live, and where we would often go dinner. Linda was seriously lamenting the fact that she would never have their Chicken Spiedini again, when I remembered that I had that recipe.
Today I made it in remembrance of the many fine meals, and pleasant times, that I had at the restaurant. Here it is, and I hope you enjoy it. I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t tweaked it a good bit, so here is my and Rizzo’s version. Mangia!
Adapted from Rizzo's Pasta
2 cups buttermilk
2 pounds chicken, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes, crumbled
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 cup Italian-seasoned fine, dry bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons finely minced parsley
8 lemon wedges, for garnish
Cut chicken into cubes the day before, and soak them in buttermilk overnight, covered, in the refrigerator. The next day, remove the chicken from the buttermilk, drain, and pat dry; set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley flakes; add chicken; stir to combine. Cover and allow to marinate 1 hour at room temperature.
Meanwhile, toss together Parmesan, onion powder, garlic salt, and breadcrumbs. Add chicken; mix well. Thread cubes onto skewers,* leaving a little space between cubes. (At this point it can be refrigerated until ready to cook.)
Broil, turning once or twice, until chicken is firm and crumbs are toasted, about 20-25 minutes.
While chicken is broiling, combine melted butter, white wine, and parsley.
Arrange on serving plates, drizzle with the melted butter/wine mixture, and garnish with lemon wedges.
Yield: 4 servings
*I used bamboo skewers that I soaked in water to prevent them from catching on fire.
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