I've always considered food to be an international language, of sorts. I received the best of gifts this Mother's Day, full of memories and, of course, more than enough to chew on.
When my Chicas were wee ones, I tried to be a diligent Mom. I cooked with fresh veggies ~ broccoli is still one of their favorites ~ and insisted on staying away from too much fast food or pre-packaged items. I guess it's a tiny testament to my efforts that in her early years, at least, the first time Ella Numera Dos dined at Mickey D's she got a terrible case of the runs.
So, at the end of rather muted Mother's Day activities ~ brunch, a nap, a walk on the neighborhood path, I was delighted to hear from my youngest. She had a special request for a special recipe from her childhood.
Dos and her sorority sisters are putting together a recipe book for their graduating seniors. She had reached back almost 20 years to honor her friends with a dish that I've been preparing since she cut her first baby teeth.
The girls called this "Chicken on the Bone." The Joy of Cooking, from which I filched the recipe so long ago, calls it "Chicken Cacciatore." I call my baby's request an exercise in The Language of Love.
From The Joy of Cooking (as adapted by Mrs. Scribe)
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs. chicken parts (I use 2 packages of thighs)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 large garlic clove, minced (sometimes I use 2 or 3)
1/2 cup dry red or white wine
8 oz. canned tomato paste
2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
Skin chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oil in a large spaghetti sauce pot over medium-high heat until shimmery and fragrant.
Reduce heat to medium; add chicken and cook until not quite brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
Add garlic and onions; stir, turning the chicken, for about 5 minutes.
Pour in wine, water; add tomato paste and bouillon cubes.
Bring to a boil and add optional veggies, if desired.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour. Chicken should be ready to fall off the bone.
Serve over thin spaghetti. We like Barilla Plus angel hair pasta.
Number of servings: 8