Once again, that sounds dirty.
But really, it refers to my conundrum: if I am going to cook through Italian cookbooks, to really learn Italian food, what is a semi-religious Jew to do?
I am a reform Jew, and a twice-a-year Jew at that: the high holidays and Passover, although I would say that being Jewish, the ethics of being Jewish, inform my daily life.
You see the problem here: Italian cooking inherently involves a lot of pork.
I admit, I cheat: a little salumi here and there, but that's about it. On Sunday, I found myself staring at the extensive pork section of A16: what is a Jew to do?
I'm deferring that answer for another day and substituting chicken. Fortunately, it turned out delectably, tender and toothsome with a salty-sweet relish. To die, I tell you.
This recipe is perfect for either a weeknight dinner or, if you're feeling like you want to impress people, an appetizer for a dinner party.
I'm deferring the inherent conflict for another day. In the interim, this recipe is brilliant.
Chicken Spiedino with Pine Nut, Garlic and Currant Soffritto
Adapted from A16 Food + Wine
2 pounds skinless chicken thighs, cut into even chunks
1/2 cup dried currants
3/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup roughly chopped garlic cloves
2 ounces arugula
After cutting the chicken thighs into chunks, toss with aproximately 1 tablespoon salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Put the currants in a small bowl and cover with warm water to rehydrate, for at least 20 minutes.
String the chicken chunks onto the skewers, with no more than five chunks per skewer. When the fire is ready, put the skewers on the direct-heat side of the grill for approximately a minute, until they become less pink and have grill marks. Then transfer the skewers to the other side of the grill and cook until fully cooked, approximately 10 minutes.
In the interim, arrange a platter with a bed of the arugula. When the chicken is done, place the skewers on the platter and drizzle with the sauce. You will have plenty of extra sauce; save it for future dishes, including the panino that I will share later this week.
Serves 4 as a main course; 6 as an appetizer.