Thursday, April 9, 2020

Favazza’s Sicilian Chicken

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You know how it is, when you want something that you can’t have, that it makes you want it all the more? That’s me these days with really good, can-only-get-it-in-a-restaurant, Italian food. There are three of us who go out to dinner every month, and we tend to eat a lot of Italian food in the doing. We recently had lunch together at an Italian restaurant that had the most out-of-this world food that you can imagine. We were talking about going back, and then everything hit the fan, and, well, here I am. Wanting restaurant-quality Italian food, and unable to get it.

But wait! A friend (one of the above mentioned two) said that she had a recipe from one of our local favorites for Sicilian chicken that she had never tried. She sent it to me, and at first glance, it looked daunting. I mean, it’s just me; do I really want to go to a lot of trouble? Well honestly, that all depends, but I wasn’t feeling it when I’d planned to make this dish. Fortunately, it’s largely text. When you break it down, particularly if you make individual components of this recipe at various times of the day, it goes together in an absolute flash, and is restaurant quality delicious.
Favazza’s (You can find Favazza’s magnificent recipe for Steak Modiga here), creator of this recipe, is located in the Italian section of St. Louis called “The Hill” (where Baseball great Yogi Berra grew up). People come from miles around (and by this I mean from all over the country), to eat on “The Hill.” This chicken dish is one of those reasons why.
Favazza’s Sicilian Chicken

For Sicilian Sauce

3 or 4 large cloves garlic (about 1 T.)
1 T. kosher salt
¾ c. fresh lemon juice
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. coarse black pepper
1 c. extra-virgin olive oil

For Sicilian chicken:

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2)
Oil for cooking surface
¼ c. olive oil
1 c. Favazza’s seasoned breadcrumbs (see below)
2 T. Sicilian sauce, per serving (see below)
Chopped parsley and lemon slices, for garnish

Prepare Sicilian sauce:
Peel garlic cloves. In a mini food processor, process garlic and salt until garlic is very fine. (Alternatively, use a sharp knife to mince garlic with salt on a cutting board.) Transfer garlic/salt to a glass bowl, stir in lemon juice, oregano and black pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until well-blended and just beginning to emulsify. Refrigerate until ready to use. Just before using, gently stir. Makes about 1¾ cups (use extra to toss with cooked vegetables).

To make breadcrumbs:
For breadcrumbs, season Italian breadcrumbs with flour, granulated garlic, dried pepper, salt and white pepper.

Make Sicilian chicken:
Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Between 2 pieces of waxed paper, quickly tap (don’t pound) each chicken piece with a meat tenderizer until it’s about a ½” thick, thicker is fine too, just make sure each piece is about the same thickness.

In a sealable freezer bag or nonreactive container, toss chicken pieces with vinaigrette; let marinate in the fridge, preferably overnight, no less than a couple of hours.

Lightly oil a 10” sauté pan, and heat until very hot but not smoking. Remove chicken from and discard excess dressing; let chicken drain in a colander for a few minutes.

Set up an assembly line, one dish with oil, another with breadcrumbs. One at a time, lightly dip each chicken piece in olive oil, then dredge all sides with breadcrumbs, then drop onto hot surface (it should sizzle).

Let cook without moving until golden and crispy on bottom side, then flip and cook until chicken is fully cooked. (The cooking time will vary based on chicken’s thickness and the grill temperature. To test for doneness, cut into the center of one piece, the juices should run clear.)

To serve Favazza’s-style, transfer a chicken piece to a white oval plate and drizzle with 2 tablespoons Sicilian sauce. Sprinkle plate with parsley and top with a lemon slice, then serve hot.


Sherry B said...

Hi Pattie,
While i've never had the Sicilian Chicken at Favazzas I have enjoyed other entrees there. The Hill is truly a wonderful place to visit and shop for locals as well as out of owners. I hope you and you friends are able to get out to dinner soon as our city and country heal. Stay healthy!
Sherry B

Linda said...

I am going to have to try this, especially with that sauce. Thank you for breaking down the recipe into sections!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Thanks, Sherry. I hope to be able to get out at some point, but I don't' think it will be any time soon. Meanwhile, the search continues for restaurant recipes!