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  • olive oil
  • 3 skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large can San Marzono whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
  • 4-5 green olives sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive juice
  • 1 teaspoon capers with juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • large bunch of fresh basil (6-8 leaves whole)
  • 2 small sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup of shaved parmesan or favorite Italian blend of shredded cheese

Drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy pot or dutch oven. On medium to high heat — brown chicken thighs on both sides. Reduce heat to medium. Add can of tomatoes and white wine. break tomatoes apart with the back of a large spoon until there are just small pieces left. Add olives, capers, and herbs. Lower heat and let simmer for hour and a half.  Remove chicken from pot then remove meat from bones and shred. Add back into the sauce with tomato paste and cheese, simmer another 15 minutes.

Serve over your favorite pasta. I usually add a little of the pasta water to the sauce as well. 🙂



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Mama J’s Gumbo

  • 4 chicken thighs – skin on, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 links of andouille sausage sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper chopped
  • 1 small red or orange pepper chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1 cup cut frozen okra
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 bottle of beer!
  • Salt and pepper

In the bottom of a heavy pot, drizzle enough olive oil to coat – then add chicken thighs, skin side down and brown for 7-10 minutes – flip and brown for 5 more. Then add literally everything else. Stir well, place on medium heat until everything comes to a bubble. Then turn to low-medium, cover and let cook for at least two hours until the chicken is done through. Pull the chicken from the pot, remove meat from bones and shred. Discard bones and skins.

I serve steamed or sauteed shrimp on the side or add just as serving, but many like to cook it in the pot for extra seafood kick. Enjoy.

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Navy Bean Soup

One of Dad’s Favorites! And a hearty meal for your whole family!  navy beans

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dried navy beans
  • water
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4-5 baby red potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 pound chopped ham
  • 1 ham hock
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In large dutch oven or pot —  add sausage and brown – breaking into small bits as you do.  Next, add onions, celery and potatoes and toss for about 5 minutes..  Then add beans, 6 cups of water, bouillon, wine, ham, hock, salt & pepper.  Cover then bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for two hours, stirring occasionally.   Add 1-2 cups additional water to desired consistency.   Simmer an additional two hours or until beans are tender.

Want to make it faster?  Use canned 3 cans of navy beans (drain first) or soak your dry beans overnight (drain the water).

Want to make it even heartier?  Here are some great additions:

  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 1/2 or 1 cup chopped greens (kale or collards)

Serve with Texas toast or slices of a crusty on the outside, incredible on the inside bread!

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This is one of my family’s favorites!  Simple, fast and filling.  Serve it with some warm, crusty bread and you’ve got it made! 

  • 1 pound dry linguine
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (I like Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 3 dozen neck clams, scrubbed
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, seasoning with salt and tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook pasta according to directions.

In large pot or skillet, heat olive oil and 1/3 stick of butter.  Add garlic and sauté over medium heat until garlic begins to soften and slightly brown – about 3-4 minutes. (Don’t burn!)  Add pepper flakes and cook another minute.  Add wine, lemon juice and c lams and cover – shaking pan often until all the clams are opened (about 6-7 minutes.)  Remove clams with tongs or basket ladle and place into large bowl.  Remove a dozen of the clams from their shell and add back into broth mixture.  Add remaining ½ stick of butter, salt, pepper, basil and parmesan –  simmer for 3-4 minutes whisking thoroughly.  Add pasta into sauce  – pour onto platter and top with remaining clams.

Want to change it up?  Add a splash of Pernod (liquor) to the white wine before adding the clams.

For a little color and different flavor you can also add a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes when adding the remaining butter, basil and parmesan at the end – let simmer an additional five minutes.

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