ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Snakes and Snails...and Mediteranean Chicken

Happy Sunday! 

              It's been a very busy weekend at Casa Bramasole. I don't normally post on Sunday nights, but it looks like another crazy week, so I figured I'd get one in while I could.

On Friday, a good friend and I decided to check out what has turned into a local attaraction here in Chapel Hill- known to all as The Sisters' Garden. 94 year old twin sisters Barbara Stiles and Bernice Wade open their lovely garden to the public for 3 weeks in April. Their adorable home and lovingly tended gardens have become a much-loved local landmark. My grandma Josie LOVED her garden and people used to stroll by her house on summer evenings just to see her gorgeous roses and gladioli. She was so proud every year to give me a few huge roses with the stems wrapped in foil to bring the nuns at church and my teachers at school. 

You can read more about the sisters here 

Isn't this cottage adorable??

They had peonies the size of a soccer ball! Just stunning!

This one was HUGE! Unfortunately hard to get a good picture as I had to face the sun

Many of you know that I am the mother of 6- 5 of them are boys. Probably why I was so close to my Grandma Josie. She had 3 sons- she UNDERSTOOD me. 

She knew...

Anyway, this week my youngest has been on a mission. 

Try to convince Mom to take him up to the Fairgrounds in Raleigh for the Exotic Animal and Reptile Exhibition

Now, I should mention that the word reptile is enough to set Mom's skin to crawling and eyes to tearing and legs to shaking. 

I am NOT a reptile person

Or a rodent person

What I AM is a person who could spend hours, days, and weeks browsing a good Flea Market and Antique mart.

Sooooo, the plan became (in my mind only, apparently) that Dad would take Tim to the reptile show (with strict orders NOT to buy anything!) and Mom and Allie would spend some girly time shopping and browsing the Flea Market stalls. 

They didn't get the memo

Mom browsed. This was Allie

Yes, that's a snake. I was NOT there for this. I would have cried

I was here


Grandma would have been with me. I know she would.

She had boys. She understood.

We got home and I was really tired (not to mention pouting because nobody wanted to listen to MY plan)

I needed a fairly quick, fairly easy dinner that was still good enough for a Sunday.

It's an Italian thing- Sunday dinner has to be "special". And it has to have pasta and it has to have tomatoes somewhere

It's a law

This is what we had with buttered orecchiette pasta, salad and garlic bread to sop up all the juices

Pattie's Mediteranean Chicken
(I didn't really measure, so I'm giving a ballpark on the ingredients)

1 cut up chicken ( I added an extra breast I had in the fridge)

wash pieces, dry well. 
Season well with salt and pepper, let come to room temperature. Heat a thin film of olive oil in a large saute pan and brown chicken (about 5-6 minutes each side) and remove to large oven-proof casserole.

1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
2-4 zucchini or yellow squash. I quartered them lengthwise then cut crosswise into chunks
about 1/2 cup wine (red or white)
2 tablespoons each parsley, tarragon, thyme, and a few sage leaves, roughly chopped and mixed
Roma plum tomatoes- you can use 5-6 fresh ones, peeled, seeded and cut in large chunks or drain a small can of whole tomatoes and quarter them
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
about 1 cup chicken stock
1/2 jar (about 1/4 cup?) pitted Kalamata olives, drained
OPTIONAL- I have used cubed roasted eggplant in this when I had some leftover. Just stir in during the last 10 minutes of oven time

        After you remove chicken to casserole, drain all but about 2 or 3 tablespoons of fat from saute pan. Saute onions till soft and starting to brown. Add garlic and cook another minute or so. Add wine, zucchini and about 2/3 of the chopped herbs. Deglaze, stir and saute about 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, pepper, chicken stock and olives to pan. Bring to simmer, pour over chicken, cover and put in oven for about 40 minutes. Add eggplant or any other leftover roasted veggis after 30 minutes, if desired. Sprinkle with remaining chopped herbs and serve with buttered pasta and garlic bread. Buon Appetito!

Have a wonderful week!
 don't forget to enter our Giveaway HERE . Be sure to enter parts 1 AND 2. You have to comment on those posts separately!

As Always,

Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Pattie it never fails my mouth is watering. I would weigh a ton if I lived at your house. It always looks so delish. Kathysue

  2. I'm sure you know your Grandma Josie is proud of you ;)

  3. OMG-I thought you had put snakes an snails in with the chicken- yuck------ready to scream at you- but couldn't figure your husband or kids eating something like that. :) lol,KathyMott

  4. This sounds yummy and easy. Our family would love that there is some "sopping" involved. Now that's home cooking!

  5. I am right there with you on the snake thing! I keep reading thinking that they came home with a snake! I am sure your Grandma Josie would've have been right there with you! There is a special place in heaven for mother's with boys! (You know Tony is the baby of 5!) I think that is why I loved my mother-in-law so much and she understood!
    Hoping you have a wonderful week :)

  6. Oh, Pattie, the chicken looks WONDERFUL!

  7. I'm not a snake or rodent person either, Pattie...ew! LOL I only had one boy but I thought he was easier to raise than my girl if I had four more boys I might have felt

    Your chicken looks so delicious!

    Have a good week!
    ♥ Pat

  8. Snakes and rodents are why Troy takes the Princess to the pet store every week and not me! She loves them. ick!

    The chicken looks fantastic!

  9. That chhicken looks delicious, but not too much the snake!! Brave girl!!

  10. usual your meal looks delish. The recipe looks like something my husband will love. Anything with olives and eggplants he will eat. Thanks for sharing and love that story on those 94 year old twins with their garden.

  11. Good morning, The chicken dish looks really delicious and I am going to try it this week. The flowers are so cheerful, especially because it is rainy!Take care and have a great day and thanks for sharing your Sunday dinner with us! Emelia

  12. You're my kind of girl! Only thing worse than reptiles is rodents! The flea market looks fun! Your food makes my mouth water, as usual!

  13. Cute story, Pattie! Being the mother of two daughters and one of two female siblings the first male child in our family is our little grandson. I'm sure I'll get the Intro to Reptiles soon ;) Your Grandma Josie sounds like a wonderful lady.

    That chicken dish looks fabulous as all of your recipes do.

  14. Im with you . i m for flea markets not for reptiles! your food looks very comforting :)

  15. Pattie, your thrown together meals are comparable to feasts prepared by other people. I hope you were able to find something to bring home at the fleamarket. It's always a shame to come home empty handed. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  16. You're a good sport, letting them go to that reptile show. I understand it is one of the best in the Country. We use to be like you, very scared of snakes, we have our own collection

    They can make great pets and don't require daily feeding like cats and dogs.

  17. the photo of Allie with the snake. But I would much rather have been shopping with you. What a scrumptious Sunday dinner.

  18. oh pattie!!! snakes send me into red zone. YUK! okay, now that's off my chest, your meal (and plan) sounded and looked FAB. i like easy to cook dishes. thanks for sharing.

  19. Pattie, I almost didn't read the post because of the creepy title. Allie is so brave!

  20. Pattie and Allie, This is the third attempt to leave a comment, so just to let you know- Allie, go wash your arm and don't scare us ever again!
    Pattie, Love the recipe. I am adding it to my "Favorite Bramasole recipes to make". Yummy
    xo Yvonne

  21. Now that's what I call a good sport, Pattie!! And that's what I call insane, Allie!!!
    Glad you all had a good weekend though. Good luck with that garage sale. It was totally worth it...we mostly just sold all our little junk items and still made over $300.00 : )
    Mary Lou

  22. Yummy! as always!

    I hate snakes too! Allie is abrave gal! :)

    Your blog always makes me hungry!!! :D


  23. I never had boys, but my daughter liked the reptiles before the "girly girl" stage. Love the chicken dish. Have a fun-filled week with no reptiles.


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