This is a cliche, but I want to go to Italy. And not to Rome.
As a kid I used to love reading travel memos. Even better were travel guides. Every afternoon, after school and lunch I would read sections of travel guides. There were a zillion of them in our house. You may ask , why not travel books? Well....I do like to read travelogues. But with travelougues I feel I am undertaking a journey with the author. Staying at the same hotels, riding the same trains. Essentially viewing a country the way the author views it. Why! I also find myself sort of sharing the same thoughts with the author! I mean how do I know if the pizzeria where the author went is the best one or the cheapest one? Maybe the one right next to would suit me better! But the travelogue does not say anything of that 'other' pizzeria or the cafe or the beach or the book place...that is there for sure :) While travelogues are incredible if you haven't been to a place, it is somehow not very fulfilling for me at least. Travel guides on the other hand, are informations. Which hotel prices, which trains etc. Mundane and banal. But as a kid I felt like an adult with that information- -- in charge of the whole operation. I could plan and enjoy the journey from start to finish. The hotels I would stay in, the places I would eat, the train rides I would take. It was somehow my own journey and I always wrote a travelogue in my head. My own travelogue. I was the author of a journey through unknown country and people. No longer tagging with someone.
Weird is it?
Well, weird is as weird does :) In this way I undertook many a journey. From the deserts of Sahara to rainforests of amazon. Through the cobbled streets of Malaga and into the spice bazars of Turkey. And in those solo soujourns I did stop over in Italy. Who dosen't ? And guess where I loved it most? Capri. You know where there were those little white houses on the green hills overlooking the mediterranean. And you get the best fruit icecreams and salads. I lived there for a whole month.
...I have never been to Capri. Someday I will :)
Meanwhile, whenever I remember my sojourn through Capri, I crave Italian food. Not the American one. The ones that I am sure abounds in cafes and eateries of Capri, Sicily...and all of the countrysides of Italy. Fruity, lemony, garlicky-- decadant and yet flavorful. Sinful yet delightfully light. Last week on such a day, I hapened to watch a Rach Ray show and she was putting on a Sicilian dinner. Was there any way I was not going to go for it?
So here is a Sicilian meal. My way..as I think it is in Sicily :) Lemon Garlic chicken and Orzo pilaf
Lemon garlic chicken:
4-5 chicken drumsticks
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
Lemon juice of 1 lemon
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
half a cup of freshl parsley. Chopped
3-4 tbsf olive oil
1/2 cup of vermouth or dry white wine. You can also simply use Chicken stock or even just plain hot water.
Salt abd pepper for seasoning
It starts with oilve oil of course :)
It starts with oilve oil of course :)
Heat oil in a skillet. When oil smokes, add the chicken drumsticks and caramelize one side--,eaning do not move the chicken before at least 3-4 minutes. Then turn and cook chicken for 5 more minutes moving it around. Add the garlic and lemon zest. Saute for a minute. Deglaze with your fluid--water/wine/vermouth. Lower heat, cover and cook through for 10 minutes. Add stock or water if necessary.When chicken is done, season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley. Tur off heat and add the lemon juice and toss well :)
Serve with any bread or pilaf. I used Spinach Orzo pilaf :) Something which we will talk about some other day.
Dosen't this take you to the mditerranean coast...where birds sing and the sky is all blue and the food is beautiful and the maidnes look fair ? :)
Happy eating and healthy living!