This easy and tasty pan fried chicken recipe is unique in that it is made with an Italian dessert wine called vino santo, which in Italian literally means “holy wine”.
this Italian dessert wine is traditionally a wine made in Tuscany. However, variations of this style of wine can be found throughout Italy. It is produced within specified regions using a method that must satisfy a quality standard.
The Greek Island of Santorini also produces a sweet dessert wine known as vin santo, which is manufactured in much the same way as the Italian style wine.
My Grandfather on my Dad’s side was from the Tuscana area of Italy. Which he returned to in later years. But, I was able to get to know him a little before he left the United States.
He left my Mom with some of his great recipes. He was a superb cook. This pan fried chicken recipe was one of his that I make in memory of my Grandfather.
My Mom used to say, when my Grandfather cooked, he would dirty every piece of silverware and pot in the house. She said he even used to get spaghetti sauce on the ceiling!
Pan Fried Chicken Recipe
- 8 chicken pieces (I use thighs and legs, but you can use any pieces you like. If using bone-in breast, they will take longer to cook. So, adjust cooking time accordingly.)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbls flour for dusting
- 1/4 cup canola oil for frying
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine (not the cheap stuff, something you would drink)
- 1/2 cup vin santo
- 1 tbl chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (cilantro is by no means traditional in Italian cooking, but I found that it seems to enhance this chicken recipe)
- Rinse and dry chicken thoroughly. Season chicken with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Dust chicken lightly with flour.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
- Saute onions in skillet over medium heat. When onions begin to brown, add the garlic and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the white wine and cook until almost evaporated. Return chicken to skillet and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove lid and add vin santo. Simmer covered for another 10 minutes. Remove lid and simmer uncovered for about 5 or 6 minutes until chicken is cooked. Place chicken on a warm platter and top with chopped parsley or cilantro. Mungiare bene (“eat well”). This dish goes well paired with some buttered fettucini noodles topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.