Monday, October 13, 2014

San Giuliano Terme and Lucca, I could not keeping you still unaware: #Fried Chicken Nuggets Tuscan Style...the Secret is Out!

fried chicken tuscan style
Fried Chicken Nuggets Tuscan Style
Those of you who came to meet me this Summer in Tuscany, know very well how much   has been crazy this season: rain, rain, rain, sun, rain, rain ... Well, after yesterday I have to say that the Autumn is not far behind in terms of madness: an incredibly hot, the sun was always high, the sirocco wind, mosquitoes as in July.  
Usually during these days of October, we go for a walk in the main street of Pisa or Lucca and protect us from the first cold with a steaming bag of roasted chestnuts cooked  on braziers tight in our hands.
But on yesterday (Sunday) this was unthinkable: the sun was really shining and the temperature was 26 °C; and yet nowaday here in San Giuliano Terme everyone still wears T-shirts and in the resorts where we hold cooking classes or private dinners, there are still those who have a dip in the pool and have a sunbath.
In this Sunday of "Jultober", after 2 weeks of laborers and masons and plumbers at my home, where we're renovating the bathroom, we decided to give us a nice lunch out at a restaurant, and so I went with girls and husband at the restaurant "La Cecca" in Coselli (Lucca). It's a very nice place where eating, I've been there since I was little and I've never been disappointed by its high quality and authenticity in the kitchen.
Usually, however, we pass the Sunday in family and the dish, the most popular one is also the most successful in our dinners, namely: the Fried Chicken Tuscan Style. 

You are about to discover how to make one of the most delicious dishes you've never tasted! And it is also one of the most requested in CuocheinVacanza dinners at home, special events and cooking classes in Tuscany, where is the master along with seasonal vegetables (shortly a post just for them!).
One day a few years ago, thanks to my friend Nicla, Tuscan doc, I dicovered this kind to fry chicken and, since then, has become a "must" in my family and for all those who attend my home. 
In the same instant I tasted it for the first time, I had all my grandma memories in my mind: her patience in cooking, her gentleness in teaching me the tricks of the trade, and above all it's got back in my mouth the flavor of the chicken she was preparing for me, during lazy Sundays when she, my father, my brother and me, had lunch at the same table.

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Here is Nicla, my Friend!
Everyone knows the fried chicken, almost everyone has their own way to prepare it, but the way to fry it here in "Tuscany", gives to this meat a so delicious taste that (I can assure you) it will be the main, if not the only, you will use from now on.
The recipe I'm about to revel to you is really a little "culinary heritage" that is handed down from mother to daughter.
Loved by young and old, everyone wants this recipe ... and here it is for my friends! Today I decided to reveal this secret so far remained within the walls of the houses of my family. 
Not only the meat is tender as butter but unlike other
chicken preparations, the absence of bones makes this dish appetizing as ever... and be careful, because one bite leads to another and you will not even notice.
So get ready to enjoy this delicacy and remember that to fully understand this recipe will leave only 2 recommendation: try it, try it, try it! And...
spread the recipe, but with discretion :D
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Fried Chicken Nuggets Tuscan Style

Fried Chicken Nuggets Tuscan Style

Recipe by Erika Elia
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 5 Chicken hips
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cup peanut oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Remove the skin from the hips and debone the chicken aiding yourself with kitchen scissors.
  2. Cut the chicken in pieces as big as walnut (nugget).
  3. Put the chicken nuggets in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork and add the garlic clove, minced; leave to rest.
  5. Pour the flour over the chicken nuggets, stirring by hands to incorporate.
  6. When nuggets are completely wrapped, pour on them the beaten eggs and stir with a fork until they're well wrapped from eggs too.
  7. Pour the peanut oil in a large pan and wait the oil is very hot.
  8. Drain the nuggets from the egg surplus and plounge them in the oil.
  9. Wait until they're golden, turning them over.
  10. Cooking time is about 10 minutes.
  11. Drain them on a kitchen paper
  12. Salt just now
  13. Serve immediately and enjoy this amazing flavour and tenderness! 
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View from my Home

Saturday, October 4, 2014

#Toronto, Oslo, Perth, New York...meet Tuscany during Cooking Classes and Private Dinners. Thanks my friends, you're far away, but you gave me a "piece" of your countries!

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The summer is ending and I'm already rearranging memories and pictures of cooking classes and private dinners.
Also this year I met many new people coming from distant  and charming
countries; I discovered ways of thinking different from mine, this year too. Thanks to the words of my guests I managed to see places, feel the tastes and smells. I managed to dive in the habits of countries that I still have never visited, but I will soon, I hope.
I do not know if I'm going to Toronto, Oslo, Perth, New York, Houston,
Instambul ... but definitely a piece of these places came inside me and will not come out more on.
Thanks to all of you, if you were students of our cooking classes, or guests in our private dinners; the adventure does not end here, I know ... the sun still shines in the land of Tuscany, yet so many days of work ahead.
Inside of me I feel, however, already the melancholy of this season 2014 that is going to greet us; enjoy a few pictures from this summer and I would recommend: keep in touch !!


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Syracuse: beautiful places to visit and to have a dip! My holiday in Sicily...tips (second part).

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Our favourite Wild Beach...yellow rocks because of the sulfur
Yesterday I told you about: eating well spending a little in Syracuse, and today I'd like to post you some pictures about my favourite beaches in Syracuse and some beautiful places I visited with my family.
There are 3 negative aspects about Sicily that I think could be important to know when coming here on holiday.
The first oneSicily is not only a beautiful place with breathtaking views and pristine  and wilderness nature. There is another Sicily meeting every day: is that one about waste everywhere, trash thrown along the streets as on the beaches. And so it happens that you swim in a beautiful sea, clean and transparent and pull on some plastic bag or something else.
During my holidays I saw many times people in the cars waiting at the traffic light, open the door and overthrow the full ashtray over the asphalt.
The second one: the problem of stray dogs. As well as for management of garbage, so also for the protection of animals, in Sicily are still about 50 years ago.
It can happen to encounter gangs of stray dogs on the street, as in the center of the city.
Despite the presence on the territory of Legambiente (an office was close to where I was staying), no one cares to trace the microchip of a dog or to provide against this dangerous phenomenon.
What shocked me was seeing from my car window while we were going to the airport, a stray Newfoundland, rummaging in the garbage together with 5 other dogs, even with the collar at the neck and also the medal. It was definitely a dog belonged to some tourists and
lost a few months ago, but no one has ever bothered to see what was written on that medal!

The third one: I love wild beaches, as you can find in Maremma (South of Tuscany); free beaches, no bathing facilities, unspoiled, with trunks of trees here and there, and maybe boars in the nearby pine forest.  
I know that nowadays it is impossible to find deserted  and beautiful beaches, but my goal is always to find places where the distance between an umbrella and another is not less than 6 meters.
Here in Syracuse this is virtually impossible.
Because of mass tourism with the arrival of tripadvisor, with the many travel blogs and forums about discussions on holidays, now everyone knows where to find the paradise. The result is that everywhere, even in the hardest  beaches
to reach, often your beach towel is located at a distance less than 1 meter from that of another person or family.
You can tell to the Sicilians in every way that you'd like them to inform you about unspoiled beaches, but there'll be always crowded beaches in their suggestions...because Sicilians like bathing establishments, solarium points, bars on the beach and they rarely understand you'd appreciate a different kind of living the sea.
We found our beloved beaches going and traveling by car to discover new places. And we discovered many times that many places we found are not even known by the locals.
That's why I will not be very specific in giving you the names of some places ... however, if you are interested in a sea place or a beach in particular, you've just sending me an email and I'll be happy to answer.
If you're looking for a marvellous sea, clean and transparent, you're however in the right place, everywhere in Sicily. 
The most crowded beaches in Syracuse: Fontane Bianche, S. Lorenzo, Arenella however benefit a wonderful, incredible, sea.  

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Oasi di Vendicari: best birdwatching place

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Wild Seaplace
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Syracuse: Wild Beaches to have a dip
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Syracuse: Beautiful Places to Visit
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