Ok, every time I tell people we are making Chicken and Fats… I always get a funny look. Fats? Yes… Fat, Rigatoni 🙂 My Granny was such an amazing influence on my life. She really was a pillar in our family and taught our family about the importance of family and equally the importance of food! Growing up, it was always drilled into us that you must have enough food, you need to feed people (even when they aren’t hungry) and make sure you get together as a family (and eat of course). I has talked about this before, however, Sunday dinners are our favorite tradition. I am blessed that I have also married into a family that loves food and cooking. I am DOUBLE blessed that I also have a husband that is an AMAZING cook as well. We are always trying new recipes or coming up with our own… however, there is nothing like a handed down family recipe. Not only does it feed your belly, it feeds your soul 🙂
My Granny was from the South and married a handsome man from New York. Not only were their backgrounds like oil and water, my Papa’s family was straight from Italy! My Granny learned to cook from her new in-laws and of course always threw her own spin on things. My mom was one of 7 children, so feeding 9 mouths was difficult to do… and PASTA was typically on the menu. Her variations of pasta dished and bean dishes are my favorite!
Even tho she cooked many dishes, Chicken and Fats remains pretty high on the list of famous Granny dishes! We cook this frequently during the fall and winter. I hope that this recipe makes for a special dinner in your home. Keep in mind when Granny’s cook, no measurements are ever used… of and remember us Italians only know how to cook for 20 plus people! The recipe below is a starting point, everything will be to taste for your family.
Chicken and Fats
4- Bone In, Skin On Chicken Breasts *This is important, it adds a lot of flavor and is an important ingredient.
2- 32oz. Chicken Stock Containers
1/2 cup dried Basil *Basil is the main spice in this dish, if you can’t smell it or taste it, add more!
1 cup of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Fresh Garlic
1 lb. Large Rigatoni *This can sometimes be hard to find (I get it at Whole foods, a local Italian Store or Willam Sonoma) if you can’t find the big fat ones, the bite size Rigatonis will work well.
Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes and additional powdered garlic to taste
Add Olive Oil to pot, warm oil then add fresh garlic and dried basil. Brown slightly then add chicken breast down into the hot oil. Brown for 1 minute.
Add both containers of Chicken Stock. This is when I typically add more dried basil on top, salt, pepper, a pinch of red pepper flake and an additional sprinkle of powdered garlic.
Bring to a boil and turn to medium heat and cook for 1 hour or longer (until chicken is tender enough to fall off of the bone). I typically cook this for 3 hours to make sure everything is cooked tenderly and the broth tastes good.
When you are ready to serve boil the pasta water with splash of oil oil and a sprinkle of salt in the water and cook pasta until Al Dente. Add pasta to a serving dish and add some broth on top. Shred the chicken and remove all bones and any skin/fat piece left with the chicken.
Now it’s time to enjoy! Add the cooked rigatoni with the shredded chicken and cover with extra broth. Top with red pepper and Parmesan cheese to your liking!
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