My mother, Rose, dressed for a wedding.
My mother was a stay-at-home mom. She had been working in sweatshops since the age of 16 and when she got married at the age of 31, she was certainly ready to take care of her family. Money was tight, and she was always conscious of it. She clipped coupons and saved and was meticulous with her grocery list. But while my mother spent time saving money, she never skimped on the quality of the food she bought.
We ate the best cuts of meat and everything she made was carefully prepared. She was known simply as Rosie at the butcher shop and the guys knew they could never fool her as to the quality. She was a good customer and loyal to certain stores. We had macaroni and cheese for dinner when mom got a deal at the Salumeria. As a regular customer of the cold cuts, pork sausage and brasciole, they would offer her, for free, the ends of the chunks of cheese. These were the pieces too small for the slicer, so the butchers would save them for Rosie.
Our meals were regulated, with set meals on set days. If you came over on a Tuesday, we were having pasta with meat sauce; a Friday it was fish or pasta with peas; a Saturday, which was either roast beef, steak or hamburgers.
My mothers lemon garlic chicken was superb, and since she died only once did I taste it again, at Carmines in Manhattan. I’ve tried to make it on my own but it never tastes the same. My mother cooked her food with love and tremendous care. When my father was supposed to cut out salt from his food, my mother would accommodate him and adjusted the food accordingly. Her life was all about her family. And at this mother`s day is near, I am honored to have had my wonderful mother and to share one of her delicious recipes. She never wrote anything down, yet everything always tasted the same. Watching her cook was how I saw this recipe in action. The measures aren’t exact. Feel free to add and remove whatever you’d like, but keep the truest ingredient: love.
ROSIE`S LEMONY GARLICKY CHICKEN
– GET PACKAGES OF CUT-UP CHICKEN PIECES, PREFERABLY SMALL, LIKE DRUMSTICKS, THIGHS AND WINGS (about 1 dozen pieces)
– WASH IN SALTED WATER
– DRAIN CHICKEN AND PAT DRY
– CUT AND SQUEEZE ABOUT 4-5 LEMONS
– FINELY CHOP ABOUT 5-6 LARGE GARLIC CLOVES
– CHOP A BUNCH OF FRESH PARSLEY
– IN A SHALLOW METAL BAKING PAN, SPRINKLE SOME OLIVE OIL ON BOTTOM
– PLACE CHICKEN IN PAN IN A SINGLE LAYER
– SPRINKLE LIBERALLY WITH SALT, DISTRIBUTE THE GARLIC OVER THE CHICKEN THEN POUR THE LEMON JUICE AND FINALLY SPRINKLE THE PARSLEY ALL OVER
– PLACE IN A 400 DEGREE OVEN FOR ABOUT 60 MINUTES
– ARRANGE CHICKEN. MANGIA.