Sicilian Legs and Linguini

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Chicken:

2 large packages of chicken legs, skin left on
2 Tbsp. salt or Frank Davis Sprinkling Spice
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. sweet basil
2 tsp. Frank Davis Sicilian Seasoning

 

Gravy and Linguini:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, quartered
2 small cans tomato paste
6 tomato-paste cans filled with water or chicken broth
2 tsp. sweet basil
2 tsp. Frank Davis Sicilian Seasoning
2 whole bay leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 lbs. linguini pasta
1 cup coarse grated Parmesan cheese
2 loaves garlic bread, hot from the oven

 

 

 

 

 

First you prepare the chicken. To do that, you place the chicken legs (which you have washed thoroughly under cool running water) on a large sheet of butcher paper or freezer wrap on the countertop. Then lightly sprinkle each leg with the sprinkling spice, black pepper, basil, and Sicilian seasoning. Once they are completely coated, wrap the legs with the butcher paper, place a weight or piece of tape over the folds to keep it closed, and then begin working on the gravy. If you follow these directions to the letter, it will be some of the best you ever had!

 

In a heavy 5-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil to medium high. Then drop in the chopped onions, the garlic, and the mushrooms and-stirring constantly-lightly sauté them together until they just soften (it is not necessary to brown the onions and you don't want the garlic to burn). About three to five minutes should do it.

When the onions, garlic, and mushrooms are uniformly blended, add the tomato paste to the pot and rapidly stir it into the mix. Remember-you don't have to fry the tomato paste for eternity to make good red gravy. Actually, if you fry the paste for much longer than 5 or 6 minutes you will increase the acidity of the tomatoes and the gravy will be strong, harsh and bitter. You want it to come out light and sweet, so just cook it a minute or two until the paste, onions, garlic and olive oil are mixed well.
At this point, add the chicken broth or water to the tomato paste and stir again until the mixture is silky smooth. Keep in mind that the secret to making a gravy the right consistency is to use three cans of water or chicken broth for every one can of tomato paste.

When the sauce is thoroughly mixed, add the basil, the Frank Davis Sicilian Seasoning and the bay leaves and season the gravy with salt and pepper to your taste.

Now you're ready to drop in the chicken legs. Gently ease them into the pot with a spoon or a pair of tongs so that they're completely submerged in the gravy. All that's left then is to cover the pot and cook at a "simmer" for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Then just before you're ready to eat, cook the linguini in about a gallon and a half of rapidly boiling lightly salted water until it is al dente (firm, yet tender but not soft). When it's ready, drain it thoroughly (don't rinse it!), toss it with about a cup or two of the tomato gravy to keep the strands from sticking together, sprinkle it liberally with the Parmesan cheese, and serve it piping hot with the chicken legs!

If you have tastes anywhere close to mine, I promise this is gonna be your all-time favorite!

Chef's Hints

1. For perfect spaghetti that doesn't stick together, cook it uncovered, stir it almost constantly, add about three or four tablespoons of olive oil to the water while it is boiling, and season the water with about three teaspoons of salt. Then when the spaghetti is done, drain it thoroughly in a pasta colander, immediately put it back into the pot you boiled it in, coat it lightly with some of the hot tomato gravy, and serve it piping hot.

2. Oh-just for the record, you don't add sugar to authentic Italian gravy. Prepare it properly and it will be light and naturally sweet.

3. It is not necessary that you brown the chicken legs before putting them into the gravy. In fact, the flavor intensity is greater if you don't brown them! And for the ultimate in chicken flavor, you should not skin the chicken legs, either-that's where most of the flavor is! The only thing you really should do is skim the fat off the surface of the gravy before you serve it. (Or you can refrigerate the gravy and merely lift the fat off the surface once it gels).

4. I suggest you also serve up a couple of loaves of garlic bread with each plate of chicken and spaghetti you put on the table. A chilled glass of your favorite red Italian wine will also provide a nice touch.


 

 

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