For my mom it's eggplant Parmesan, meatballs and Manaste (an Italian soup).
For my mother-in-law it's ham barbecue (Pittsburgh- style), potato salad and the ever - requested strawberry Jell-O salad.
My husband, he makes killer stuffed cabbage rolls.
For me, it has become this dish we just call Italian chicken.
It's actually called "Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives and Basil", and it comes from a cookbook that I bought at one of the boys' Scholastic book fairs years ago - Food & Wine's Quick from Scratch Italian cookbook.
I use this cook book so much it's full of folded pages and stains from using its pages as a spoon rest!
I've made this recipe so often that I know it by heart. It's one of those - you just do it now - you don't even have to look at the book. I've made it for the four of us, served it to company, and even made it for the masses at a picnic. I always get requests for it and it never disappoints!
My husband will never leave me because if he did, he'd have to say goodbye to this chicken - and that's not a sacrifice he's willing to make! Hahaha
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs, with skin
1 onion, chopped
12 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 large can crushed tomatoes
Black olives, sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
In a large skillet heat olive oil, over moderately high heat.
Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
Brown chicken on both sides (about eight minutes each side).
Remove chicken from pan and place on a serving dish.
Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.
Add onion and garlic cloves. Sauté until onion is soft (about two minutes).
Add wine and rosemary. Scrape off browned bits from bottom of pan. Let wine simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup.
Add broth, tomatoes, olives, salt and chicken (skin side up )with all accumulated juices to the pan.
Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way through.
Push chicken aside and mash each clove of garlic with a fork.
Add basil and a sprinkling of black pepper.
Ready to serve!
Like the picture above shows, we always serve it with roasted green beans. It just seems to go well together and, hey, we like it!
Roasted green beans
Toss fresh green beans with extra-virgin olive oil, a dash of sea salt and dried thyme. Roast in oven at 425° for about 20 minutes or until beans begin to brown.