My people are Italian….like Sicilian Italian Our people take vendetta seriously – did you see The Godfather? Family feuds are way more intense than Hatfield-McCoy.
Because we are innately aware of our peoples’ tendency toward revenge, my brothers and I grew up in fear of the Turano family. See, in the 1930s our great uncles – Gasper aka ‘Cap’ and Vincent married sisters – not just any sisters, Turano sisters. Uncle Cap, the eldest, led the way – the oldest must marry first in traditional Italian families. Vincent, the second son, followed shortly thereafter with his own Turano bride.
It would have naturally followed that my grandfather, Salvatore – the youngest – would then choose one of the two remaining Turano sisters as his wife…and both families urged him to do so. Sal, as he was known, would, however, buck this trend and spurn the Turano girls. He instead married his high school girlfriend, my grandmother.
Ever since Sal made the choice to disregard tradition, the Turanos looked at us funny. Funny, like with evil, spell-casting glares, slanty eyes and stuff. We felt their hatred and sensed that they were cursing us behind closed doors. We blamed mysterious happenings throughout our lives on the Turanos…a bike went missing, a pet passed away, the car ran out of gas…must be the effing Turanos.
But, now, 80 years since Sal’s jilting of the Turano sisters…It’s time to bury the hatchet and end our fear of the effing Turanos. So, I offer the descendants of Cap and Vincent, (some of whom are kind enough to read this blog) an olive branch….a feast from a neutral region of Italy…Tuscan Grilled Chicken.
Tuscan Grilled Chicken (serves 8)
Tiny apartment tips:
- You could do this in your apt…just use a much smaller (3lb ish) chicken
- Open windows and doors to vent during grilling as the chicken should and will smoke up
- Yes, the butcher at Food Emporium, Whole Foods etc WILL de-backbone the chicken for you. Just ask.
- Plan ahead…chicken needs to marinate for at least 4 hours, though I’d recommend marinating overnight
2 4-5lb whole chickens
- 2/3 Cups Olive Oil – you can order DiGiovanna Olive Oil online – that’d really get the Turanos mad….
- Lemon Zest from 4 lemons
- 2/3 Cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 TBSP minced garlic = about 5ish cloves
- 2 TBSP minced rosemary leaves
- Kosher Salt
1. Ask the butcher to remove the backbone from the chickens and flatten them. We actually bought Perdue wrapped chickens and took them to the butcher who gladly helped us out. Put the flattened birds into baking dishes.
2. Sprinkle the chickens with salt on both sides – don’t be shy here, the salt will help crisp up the skin
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and 3 tsp of pepper
4. Pour the marinade over both sides of the chickens
5. Cover the chickens with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
7. Heat a gas grill to low heat
8. Remove the marinated chickens from the fridge and temperate for at least :15 mins
9. Spray the grill with non-stick spray
10. Place the chickens on the grill breast-side up
11. Weight down the chickens with a heavy pan or baking dish to ensure that the entire surface of the bird is in contact with grill
12. Cook for :20minutes – leave the lid of the grill open as it’s a smoky deal
13. Flip the bird (not at the Turanos) – literally and re-weight down so that the entire breast-side is in contact with the grill surface
14. Cook for another :20 minutes
15. Transfer the browned birds to a baking dish and bake in the oven for :15 more minutes to ensure bird is wholly cooked.
16. Remove the birds from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover in tin foil and let rest for :15 mins before slicing
17. Slice and serve
I hope that enough time has passed to heal the relationship between us and the effing Turanos. And I hope they see this chicken as the olive branch they may have been waiting for.
That said….when eerie things happen, I still have a thought in the back of my head, that it just could be the curse of the effing Turanos.