Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekend Cooking...Pollo alla Trombino

I am an admitted fan of Lidia Bastianich, of her cookbooks and of her TV show. So while I have not seen her latest cookbook yet, I have seen her PBS series that goes along with it, Lidia's Italy in America.
"Lidia talks about growing up in Italy, her family’s struggle to come to America, her introduction to Italian-American food, and her subsequent rediscovery of authentic regional Italian cuisine. Bringing her story back to the US, Lidia’s latest book and public television series, Lidia’s Italy in America, pay homage the people and places that carry on the Italian-American spirit."
When I saw the episode for Philadelphia was on, you know I had to watch it! And I was glad that I did, because Lidia made this delicious chicken recipe from Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, a Philadelphia landmark opened in 1900 by Francesco Dispigno. Ralph's claims to be the oldest Italian restaurant in America still run by the same family and this dish has been on the menu as long as anyone can remember.

Pollo alla Trombino
serves: 4 to 6
  • 4  6 to 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 8-ounces roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup grated provolone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil

Cut each chicken breast on a bias with a sharp chef’s knife, making two slices out of each breast. Pound a bit, if needed, to make them evenly thick. Season chicken all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread flour on a  plate, then dredge chicken in flour and tap off excess. Melt the butter and the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the chicken and cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the pieces, and brown the other side, about 2 minutes more.

When the chicken is browned, remove the chicken to a plate for a moment and pour the tomatoes, roasted peppers, oregano, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt into skillet. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the separate ingredients come together as a sauce, about 5 minutes. Place the chicken back in the pan.
Sprinkle the dish with the cheese and shredded basil. Cover the skillet, and simmer just until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes more.

If this is the sort of recipe in her new book, I really must get a copy of it!
This chicken is simple and delicious, last enough for a quick weeknight dinner, yet good enough to serve guests. I though that maybe there were not enough ingredients to be really interesting, but as is often true, I was wrong.
Still, I made few little changes to this one. I pounded the chicken a bit to make the pieces even, nice and thin, to cook nice and quick. I used canned diced tomatoes because fresh ones are not in season here yet and roasted peppers from my deli rather than the jarred ones Lidia used.
Oh and you may notice I added some asparagus...because I had some. Very nice addition I thought, but not necessary.
Either way, very tasty!


This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I love Lidia too! I have a couple of her books and use them a lot. I've eaten in only one of her restaurants (thanks to Dawn @TooFondOfBooks) in New York (Beccos) and look forward to eating there; it's become a BEA tradition for me.

    This chicken recipe looks awesome and so doable. I'd grill the breasts in the summer.

  2. I'm going to show my ignorance here... I haven't ever heard of Lidia. I will now be on a mission to find out more. Your photos make this dish look amazing!

  3. I've not heard of Linda either, but now I have! This looks totally delish.

    1. what, you have not heard of Lidia!! she is on PBS..owns several restaurants..cooked lunch for the Pope when her was in the USA.
      Her last show was all about different regions in Italy and this one one, Italian cooking in the US.
      Her elderly mom and her son (owns a winery) and daughter (she is some sort or art historian or something) drop in. Love the grandmother...

  4. Fan of Lidia as well! Years ago I ate in her very first restaurant in Queens way way before she hit it big. The dish looks delicious. I love her other books I'm sure this one is just as excellent.

  5. That looks yummy and adding the asparagus is a nice touch. I like the added color.

  6. This looks like a great weeknight recipe, easy, flavorful and you could add extra ingredients like you did with the asparagus. I like your photos too.

  7. Oh man, that looks divine! Now I'm hungry.

  8. Wow! Your food photos are really well done! I like Lidia too and that is interesting info about the restaurant in Philly :)

  9. You're always cooking such great stuff. I really think I need to move in with you!

  10. I like this dish-anything with tomatoes is always fresh and tasty.

  11. Yum! I enjoy Lidia's TV series but have never made any of her recipes. This looks like a great place to start. Thanks. Great post!

  12. Looks soooo good. Thanks and have a great week.

  13. I love her recipes too. She has a restaurant in Pittsburgh and I live about 40 mins. north of it I would love to go sometime. I make a mushroom dish of hers that is to die for and I don't even like mushrooms. Did you know you can sign up for her email newsletter and get recipes in your inbox? Newsletter Here

    1. thanks, good to know! I will have to check that out.
      BTW, I love mushrooms.

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