Chicken In Wine Siciliano


Our Sunday dinner, more often than not, would consist of a pasta dish  or soup usually followed by a roast chicken or two. We always ate around 2pm. Mom always had a table cloth on the kitchen table and amongst the clattering of the silverware my mother would shout out to us, “go get your father, the foods almost ready”.

My father would more than likely be working on his 54 Mercury in our driveway. I never remember him going to a mechanic, not even for oil changes. He always did it himself. That was during a time when you didn’t have to be a computer genius or rocket scientist to do the work on your car. Autos were much simpler then. You could open your hood and actually see and identify the engine.

 I remember one time not that long ago I was up in New Paltz New York with some friends. A very attractive young lady had asked me if I could help her start her car, her battery was dead. When I opened the hood of my 1994  Cutlass Supreme convertible I was at a loss. I could not find my battery to attach the jumper cables. I just stared under the hood perplexed. I could not find my battery!  I knew what the damn thing looked like but for the life of me it was not where a battery should be. When she walked over to ask if something was wrong I said, “no no, I just need to hop in my car a minute to do something before I attached the cables”. I frantically searched in my glove compartment for the owners manual and hoped I could figure it out before this young lady thought I was a total fool.

No owner’s manual.

 I got out of the car and said, “You should ride with me, my car doesn’t even need a battery, this thing is solar powered!”   Life was much more simple in the 50’s and 60’s, certainly cars were.

As I walked out of my house to call my father for dinner I could see half his body sticking out from under the hood. “Dad, come on, time to eat”.  My father lifted himself out from under the hood with a ratchet and spark plug in his hands. “OK, I’ll be right there”, he said. I went back into the house and sat myself down on our living room sofa and picked up the Sunday Daily News. I flipped through the sections and took out the comics to read.  I could hear my father coming in from the basement and washing up in his bathroom downstairs. “Sal!”, my mother shouted, “bring up the chicken when you come up”. My mother only used the oven in the basement for cooking.

When my father came up from the basement with the roasting pan filled with two of those  golden brown chickens, Sunday dinner was about to begin. My brother and sister made their way to the kitchen and took their places at the table. I walked into the kitchen with an insert from Macy’s and showed my mother a toy I wanted for Christmas. Without even looking at me she said, “Put that down, it’s time to eat, you can show me later”. My father looked at me and said, “Come on, put that away, you have enough toys”. 

It was Sunday dinner and the most important thing at that moment was the plate of macaroni my mother was serving us. It was as simple as that.

Chicken in Wine Siciliano

  • chicken legs and thighs
  • 2 medium potatoes, blanched and cut in 1/8’s
  • 4 whole cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rinsed capers
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata or oil cured olives
  • 4   peeled plumb tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

To blanch the potatoes, put them, peeled or unpeeled, in a pot and fill with cold water. Turn the heat to medium high. When the water starts to boil allow the potatoes to cook for 10 minutes. Drain, cool and cut into 1/8’s. Set aside.

Soak chicken parts in salted water for 1/2 hour. Rinse pieces well and pat dry with paper towel.


In a large saute pan heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute the chicken till browned on all sides.


 Add the garlic and onions and continue cooking till the onions get soft.


Add the capers, olives, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes.


Add the parsley and potatoes and pour the white wine and wine vinegar over the chicken. Cook for about two minutes.  Cover the pan and cook till the chicken is done, about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken halfway through.


After 15 minutes uncover the pan and reduce the sauce a bit.


Plate the chicken and pour the wine sauce over it. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Don’t forget the Italian bread.


About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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12 Responses to Chicken In Wine Siciliano

  1. f m conte says:

    pete, not sure if you are using canned olives, or what we knew as Sicilain Olives. those are the black ones that look like they should really be big raisins….
    those olives will light up anything…
    oh yeah, we had a roasted chicken and potatoes every sunday too,

    • Peter Bocchieri says:

      Frank, the olives I used in this recipe are oil cured olives.(the ones that look like large raisins) Canned olives are called ripe olives, not good for this dish. Sicilian olives are the large green ones. You can use the Sicilian olives here but I prefer the oil cured or Calamata olives. It’s a matter of taste.

  2. Peter: this is a really nice piece. Thanks for sharing it. wb

  3. Simple times and a much simpler life. How did it get so complicated? Everyone knew the routine and we weren’t allowed to veer from this too much without upsetting everyone. Those memories will be with us forever and will keep us going for years to come.

  4. robert terruso says:

    In our quest to obtain better careers, make more money to buy more things we lost what in really valuable…the sense of family and the comforts that it can provde.Big screen tv’s, imported cars, and all the other necessities of today can’t replace what we lost. Peter, thanks for reminding us of this.

  5. Peter Bocchieri says:

    Bob, you hit the nail right on the head! We should never forget what’s really important.

  6. Pattie says:

    I agree with your brother and I miss those days. The closest I have come is every Sunday we have a group that has lunch together at a diner—-but it isn’t the same.

  7. Roseann says:

    Peter: Thanks for the recipes and memories. I made your stuffed pork tender and it was great!

    Pattie: Things are not the same because the children didn’t continue the tradition. I would never go to a diner…..I began making Sunday sauce thirty years ago and my grown-up kids can still count on it when they visit and hopefully they will do the same!

  8. I made your fish dish about the same…funny how some things never change while others do. I am going to try your fish recipe tonight, I usually dont use wine in the dish but will try it now. Love your colum and stories! remindes me of growing up and keeping things the same today! keep them coming!

  9. Maria Lyons says:

    This is a very tasty and easy recipe to make, made it on New Years and was a huge hit with my guests! Absolutely delicious!!!!

  10. Louise says:

    Hi Peter, Had to go look for a chicken and potato recipe… that might be like my sausage and chicken recipe. WOWSER, I FOUND THIS ONE. How did I miss this one? Maybe it was before I found you? I love going through the archives…. it’s amazing what I find. 😉 Of course what I love almost more than the food ideas/recipes?????? the memories 😉 🙂 Thanks for all your sharing….and I also love all the comments too. I too make the family favorite every Sunday…in the hopes my grandchildren will continue the tradition. They are into “healthy” eating… less meats/poultry/fish…. more of the veggies/grains, you know the story.

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