Mamma Agata may not live in Santa Barbara, but she is as local as you can get - in Ravello, Italy. Every day she scours her garden for the freshest, ripest ingredients for her traditional Italian recipes. Of course I am getting this information second hand - from my parents who were lucky enough to escape away to the Italian Coast for a few weeks - but I figure I can trust them. One things for certain - Mamma Agata knows how to cook. And cook good!
Along the Amalfi Coast is a small town called Ravello, where Mamma Agata's Cooking School sits perched along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. According to the 'rents, not only was the food amazing, but the views from her cliff side patio were magnificent. Imagine yourself sitting out on the patio, taking in the views, and enjoying a home cooked locally sourced Italian meal perfectly paired with the region's best wines. I know, I was jealous too. But I can't complain too much, especially since I did get invited (but who can get away for 3 weeks?!) AND I was brought back some of Mamma Agata's most famous recipes. Since I assume most who are reading this right now also had trouble scraping up enough time and/or money to venture to Italy, I will share my take on her recipe for pollo al limone. Enjoy and Buon Appetito!
lemon herb chicken
6-8 chicken thighs, skin or no skin
6 cloves garlic, sliced in half
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp dried herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, lavender)
3 lemons, juiced
In a dry, heavy skillet, saute garlic on high heat until golden.
Add chicken, and sprinkle with half the herbs and a pinch of sea salt. Sear on first side over high heat for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Flip the chicken pieces and sprinkle with the rest of the herbs. Sear over high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Uncover the chicken and add the wine, keeping the heat on low until the wine is reduced by half.
Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. When serving, pour some of the lemon/wine sauce over the chicken.