Thursday, June 25, 2009

Venetian Isles Chicken Breasts

Pin It The Venetians Isles are a group of small islets between Miami Beach and Miami, Florida. This is where Lucy and I are staying this week, babysitting a pug named Tosca. The view of the city of Miami is extraordinary, definitely worth the price of taking two dogs out four times a day! Whenever my friends Andrew and Juan are out of town, I look for any excuse to come and spend a few days.

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Even though both of them are great cooks, cooking in someone else's kitchen is always a challenge, particularly when you don't know what's available in the pantry. It is silly to go out and buy condiments or spices you are only going to use once during your stay, so I try to cook with what's available. Yesterday, I went to the store and bought some chicken breasts for dinner and for leftovers to use in chicken salad, pasta etc. Tonight, even I surprised myself. What came out of an almost empty refrigerator was fit for a party, never mind dinner for one! Thank God I also found some Pecorino Romano in back of the fridge, together with a lime I had brought for my daily vodka on the rocks!I know most of us don't stock Limoncello. I for one do not, but I can guarantee you that when I leave next week, the first thing I'll do when I get home is go out an buy a bottle. It is great in this dish as well as in espresso and as a digestif. Believe me, it won't go to waste!

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi and islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri, but also in Sicily, Sardinia, Menton in France and the Maltese island of Gozo. It is made from lemon rinds (traditionally from the Sorrento lemon, though most lemons will produce satisfactory limoncello), alcohol, water, and sugar. It is bright yellow in color, sweet and lemony, but not sour since it contains no lemon juice. It's also spelled Lemoncello.

Limoncello is traditionally served chilled as an after dinner digestivo. Along the Amalfi Coast, it is usually served in small ceramic glasses themselves often chilled, the Amalfi coast being a center of both ceramic and limoncello production.

It is wonderful as a palate cleanser or as an after dinner drink. Keep your bottles of limoncello in the freezer until ready to serve

Danny De Vito and George Clooney are great fans of Limoncello!

Venetian Isles Chicken Breast

Serves 4


4 very think skinless chicken breast

4 TB orange juice

juice from 1/2 lime

2 TB minced garlic

2 TB butter

2 TB olive oil

3/4 Cup Pecorino Romano, finely grated



2 TB Limoncello

Marinade chicken breasts in orange juice, lime juice and minced garlic. Place in ziplock bag and leave in refrigerator for 2 hrs.

Take the chicken out, bread in Pecorino Romano, making sure you press the cheese well into the chicken. Add Salt and Pepper. Melt Butter and Olive oil, turn heat to medium high and brown the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes on each side. If the heat is too high, lower it a bit. When the chicken breasts are done, remove to a plate add the limoncello and sweat the pan for about 1 minute. Add sauce on top of the chicken breasts. Divine!

Serve with Creamed Spinach

Note. Do not try substituting lemon juice for limoncello. The thing about limoncello is that is made of the rind and not the juice! lemon juice will be nice too but the sauce won't have the smooth taste that you get when you use limoncello. Most good liquor stores should carry Limoncello.

Limoncello on Foodista

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