Tag Archives: italian food

The Meal in the Basement

Well it felt like it anyways.  Someone told us about this place that kind of looks like someone’s house or basement but people are always eating there.  We found it.  It’s right at the bottom of some steps in Trastevere and can be found here (this link will be coming as soon as i find where it is).  There are four tables, a stove and unlimited Beatles tunes.

We sat down and the food started coming.  We found out later the meal is pretty much fixed except for pasta and main.  It started with a puree of squash, fagiolini (beans), and bruschetta. And wine – all you can drink.  Next we chose pasta: I had the carbonara (bacon, creme and eggs).  For secondi I had a chicken dish that had been simmering in a pot behind us.  It was very tender and was cooked in some kind of vinaigrette concoction.  Yummy.  Dolci consisted of chocolates and cookies followed by limoncello and grappa.  I’m not sure I would go back here but it is definitely a fun experience and its all you can drink and it only costs 25 Euro per person.  Worth a look at least.

Chicken Milanese: An Adventure into Italian Cuisine

I decided to take Scott on a little trip to Italy, through food: Chicken Milanese, to be exact.  He made his famous Spanish potatoes.  Corn was there for emotional support.  Grant provided mediation and character reinforcement and refinement.

The eating crew
The eating crew

Chicken Milanese is pretty easy to make.  The hardest part is pounding it flat to about a quarter to a half inch thick.  Here’s my special recipe (inspired by Dr/Chef Bordow):

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • about 3 cups breadcrumbs – you want about 3/4 cup for each breast, I just bought mine pre-made at Whole Foods but you can make your own from bread that’s a few days old or with a new baguette that’s been baked at low temperature for about an hour until its real hard
  • 2 large lemons
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. italian seasoning – pre-made or use oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc. to taste
  • 4 large shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup cheap white wine
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • italian parsley
  • 2 eggs (2 eggs per 3 pieces of chicken) beaten in a small bowl

Breadcrumbs:  In a food processor or blender add baked baguette or pre-made breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, teaspoons of salt and pepper, lemon zest of 2 lemon and italian seasonings.  You can also add a little lemon juice if you like citrus, lord knows I do.  Blend until very fine and then pour out into large mixing bowl.

The Chicken: Marinade the breasts in a sealable container with the olive oil, salt and italian seasoning (and fresh spices if you have them) for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better.  Place the chicken on a cutting board and place a sheet of wax paper over it to prevent splattering.  With a mallet or a pan or something hard, pound the chicken to about 1/2 inch thick.  Dip the pounded chicken into the egg and make sure to cover it completely.  Then put the chicken into the breadcrumb mixture and cover it completely, patting it and making sure not to leave any open spots.  Place the chicken in a lightly oiled oven pan, like a cookie sheet (see pics below).  For a little extra flavor, put a little slice of butter on each piece.  And how.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 450° depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Loads and loads of chicken milanese
Loads and loads of chicken milanese

The Sauce:  Dump the rest of the chicken marinade into a large pan and heat.  Add diced shallots once the oil gets hot.  Add crushed garlic (I use precrushed frozen garlic from Trader Joes… it’s easier).  Squeeze in the lemon juice from the lemons and then dice up the lemons and add them in as well.  Once they’ve sauteed for about 5 minutes, add in the wine and let it reduce on medium heat until the chicken is ready.

Chicken milanese sauce
Chicken milanese sauce

Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with italian parsley.  Mmm mm good.  The potato recipe will be coming soon courtesy of Mr. Scott.

Chicken Milanese