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Chicken Francese from Piazzolla

June 20, 2008 12:12:47 PM PDT
In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we're heading to New Jersey and an Italian restaurant quickly growing in popularity.

The restaurant opened only a short time ago, and it already has an international following. That is in part because it's located right near where the cruise ships dock in Bayonne.

Piazzolla Ristorante is in the South Cove Commons shopping center at 120 Lefante Way.

"I was 15 years old when I started in the pizza business," owner Alex German said.

Nowadays, German may not be so great at tossing his dough, but the recipe for his dough is the same as he made back in the day. And it's a big part of his menu at Piazzolla.

The name, however, has nothing to do with pizza. Instead, it's a tribute to the Argentinean musician who had a modern approach to tango.

And, of course, there's even a tango pizza at Piazzolla.

The owner is from Argentina, where the Italian influence is strong, just like his restaurant, which opened six months ago. It is an area that's seeing growth thanks to the cruise ships that dock there.

Another popular dish is the chicken Francese. Chef Victor Alarcon dredges chicken in flour and egg, then it's into a hot pan. It's sauteed along with shallots, olive oil, stock, wine and lemon.

The owner loves positive feedback on his food, especially since he spent the last several decades as an architect. In fact, he had a hand in developing the strip mall where the restaurant is located.

Chicken Francese from Piazzolla Ristorante:

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Preparation:

    Heat oil in pan. Meanwhile, dredge pounded chicken breasts in flour and then eggs. Add chicken to pan. Cook for about 3 minutes over medium-high heat and turn. Remove chicken and drain pan. Then to same pan, add butter over medium heat, return chicken to pan. Add white wine. Then stock and then lemon juice. Simmer for about two minutes. You can add a pinch of flour to thicken the sauce if you'd like. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with whatever side you'd like.


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