After a brief hiatus we were thrilled to welcome J-La once again to the dinner table at Cafe Drake, albeit a most casual of meals. Aperitifs of bone-dry white wine kicked off the early evening and soon we were plowing through plates of Sicilian-Style Chicken Thighs in a Sweet and Sour Mint Sauce (recipe below), steamed quinoa, spicy jicama salad and stir-fried zucchini, peppers and onion with Italian herbs. With the help of our trusty DVR we finished things off with a sugar-free dessert of Home Sweet Hollywood and Michael and Michael Have Issues.
SICILIAN STYLE CHICKEN THIGHS IN A SWEET-SOUR MINT SAUCE
This recipe was freely adapted from one recently posted on Lynne Rosseto Kasper's marvelous e-newsletter The Weeknight Kitchen. Strangely enough, vinegar sauces and the use of mint as a savoury herb are quite common in the regional cuisines of southern Italy. This dish is a real knockout and super simple and economical to boot.
- Pan fry over medium heat about 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a bit of olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides freely.
- Now add 2 cloves of sliced garlic, 1 chopped tomato and about a full T. of oregano (or quite a few sprigs of fresh if available). Stir for a minute.
- Add to the same large skillet, about 1 cup of wine vinegar, 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar or honey. Throw in some crushed red chiles as the dish requires heat (which in turn will be offset by the sweetness).
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pan and boil liquid hard until reduced by about half.
- Throw chicken back in and heat through and serve hot with the entire dish covered in shredded mint leaves.