• Chicken Cacciatore with an old family flavor

    by Richard Oh

    Lee Mangone has been interested in cooking from an early age. With the passion and love learned from her father, Lee prepares and delivers old generation family recipes with tradition, rooted in Calabria, Italy.

    I guess you can say cooking is in her DNA. From early memory, sauce simmered on the stovetop all day, fresh seasonings, secret ingredients creating the perfect blend of flavor. Food was the center of all things, family and friends coming together to share savory dishes, laughter, and conversation, old stories recollected, new stories born.

    These memories drive Lee’s passion to keep the tradition alive, bringing people together to share authentic Italian cuisine, while emphasizing a healthy balance and relationship with food, important in today’s modern world. Recently Lee visited family in Calabria and took cooking classes in Tuscany, adding to her repertoire. She has earned her nickname, “Sauce Boss!”

    She started “Il Mio Cognome,” Italian for “my last name” in April of 2012.

    Freshly prepared Italian specialty meals are composed weekly in a certified kitchen, using fresh, local products, as available, and organic, whenever possible, packaged for 2-8 people. The “Weekly Special” might be Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna (vegetarian or meat), Manicotti, Baked Ziti (vegetarian or meat), or Marinara with Meatballs. Contact Lee to order and arrange for delivery or pick-up. Specials will be stocked in Grove Market in Pacific Grove, as well. Lee is available to cater events for less than 50 people. She is dedicated and driven to make people happy by satisfying their taste buds. You will be thrilled when you bite into her creations. I know I was.

    View her website at: ilmiocognome.com
    Facebook page: “Il Mio Cognome” (Seaside, CA) Weekly Specials are announced here, and followers can place their order. Look for the logo: Italy’s “boot” wrapped in pasta!
    Phone: 802-522-5627
    Email: lee [at] ilmiocognome.com

    Chicken Cacciatore

    • 1 large red onion sliced
    • 2-3 garlic cloves sliced
    • 1 whole chicken (cut up w/bone)
    • 1 good size handful of black olives, pitted
    • (I like Spanish ones)
    • White wine
    • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
    • 2-3 pinches oregano
    • Tomato sauce — recipe to follow
    • Flour (for chicken)
    • Olive oil

    Preheat oven 375 degrees

    1. Dredge chicken in flour. Heat large sauté pan/ skillet; add olive oil when pan is hot. Add chicken, cook on medium high to high flame until chicken to browned.
    2. In separate skillet heat 1-2 TBSP olive oil, sauté onions and garlic until onions soft and begin to brown.
    3. Combine browned chicken and onions and garlic
    4. Add about 1/2 cup of the wine and 2-3 large spoonfuls of tomato sauce
    5. Add olives

    Place all in a large clay or ceramic deep dish add chicken stock. Cover dish with parchment paper and tie it on with medium weight cooking string. Place in oven and bake 40-45 minutes.

    Remove from oven and serve. I suggest polenta or on a bed of sautéed kale. Pair with Otter Cove Pinot Noir.


    Tomato sauce

    • 1-2 28 oz. tins whole tomatoes
    • 1/2 handful fresh basil leaves (less or more
    • on your taste)
    • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (more if you like)
    • 2-3 Tbsp. good quality olive oil
    • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
    • Salt to taste

    Put tomatoes through a food mill or processor. Add the other ingredients and stir until combined.

    The pairing:

    I usually select a chef or the cook and talk to them about what they would like to feature, then I pick the wine. Sometimes I do the reverse. I choose the wine and have the chef create a dish that will complement the wine as well as use the wine for cooking. In this case, I had Lee decide on an entrée and as I tasted the food I made a decision to use the 2010 Otter Cove Pinot Noir. The Pinot spices matched up nicely with the sauce. The texture of the olives and the velvetiness of the wine complemented each other. The hints of cloves in the wine brought out the garlic and the softness of the sauce. It was very well rounded… The Pinot Noir is a single vineyard of Tondre Grape fields and is aged in French oak. Give it a try; your mouth will thank you for it.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 12, 2012

    Topics: Oh, Have A Taste!


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