Last night was an excellent Italian meal prepared by our excellent Itallo/Californian chef, Diane. To begin she made a delicious risotto followed by the chicken thighs with a cleansing salad to complete the meal.
As anybody knows who has made risotto it is a time consuming dish when it is made properly and Diane’s was properly made. We thought that the rice could have taken a minute or more on the stove to soften the rice kernels but this might be a matter of taste. Risotto to begin a meal is something to treasure because it is a complex dish to make: not its ingredients but the cooking and the constant time needed to watch, stir and continuously add the broth before it is considered just right makes it a difficult dish to prepare. Restaurants outside of Italy probably do not have the chefs or the time to put risotto to their menu.
The main course (primo piatto) is a dish I put together after seeing how the butchers debone the chicken thighs and leave a perfect space to lay a bad of butter and some fresh herb before rolling it up and using a slice of prosciutto to wrap around it to hold it together. Diane placed it in a ceramic baking dish and depending on the thickness of the thigh about 25 to 30 minutes will be needed to cook it. Always slice it through to the bone making sure that the meat shows no red. The butter/herb combination will flow out of the thigh as it cooks and Diane mixes a little wine with this butter so that it does not burn in the baking dish; this mixture with the juices from the chicken will make a delicious sauce when it is eaten with the chicken.
A simple cleansing spinach salad rounded off a scrumptious meal.
As our beverage Diane selected an inexpensive yet satisfying “super Tuscan” red wine from the Carpineto vineyards. It has the unusual name of Dogajolo; we have had it before and it always tastes good with the strong central Italian flavours.