Chicken, Beans and Escarole Just Like Grandma's

From www.sun-sentinel.com
By
Claire Perez
The recipe has always been a top seller at Cannoli Kitchen in Florida
Amy Beth Bennett / Sun Sentinel

Q Let me begin by saying how much I enjoy and look forward to your column every week. You've helped me out in the past and I'm hoping you will again. Cannoli Kitchen on Powerline Road makes an amazing escarole and beans with chicken. I've tried to replicate the dish and though quite good, it's missing that special something that they add. Hoping you're able to get them to share the recipe with you. Thank you. — Jan Levy, Delray Beach

A. Thank you, Jan. You are in good company, according to owner Angela Gismondi. The Grilled chicken with escarole and beans has always been a top seller at Cannoli Kitchen (22191 Powerline Road, 561-955-8880, cannolikitchen.com).

Gismondi explains why: “The recipes at Cannoli Kitchen are from my Grandmother Angela “Gina” Gismondi. Which is why we’ve become known as ‘the home of Grandma’s lost recipes.’ I grew up eating this dish so for me it’s like comfort food. Aside from being satisfying, it’s also light and healthy. I think that’s why so many people love it, especially after the holidays when everyone is watching what they eat.”

The grilled chicken is also available served with sautéed spinach, broccoli or broccoli rabe.

Since 1996, Cannoli Kitchen has become synonymous with fast food, Italian-style. The casual concept breaks any preconceived stereotypes by using fresh, quality ingredients to prepare dishes that are served efficiently by friendly staff. The cozy “Boca Raton-West” eatery offers take-out, delivery and catering. There isn’t table service but limited counter seating and outdoor patio table and chairs are available. Although Cannoli Kitchen’s “Boca Raton-East” location (2001 N Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 561-338-2929) shares the same name and website, it is under different ownership and the menus vary slightly.

Cannoli Kitchen uses grilled chicken breast for this recipe but home cooks can substitute sautéed chicken breast with the same delicious results. Maybe the “special something” that’s missing in your recipe, Jan, is more about the technique than ingredients since there are so few -- just one of the things I love about this dish. Gismondi says to make sure to cook the beans long enough so they get infused with the caramelized garlic flavor. Hope this helps.

Cannoli Kitchen’s Grilled chicken with escarole and beans

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic sliced

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained of half the liquid

2 small or 1 large head escarole, cored, chopped and blanched (See today’s tip)

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat. Rub chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill chicken breast until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Set aside and keep warm.

2. Using a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add the beans and the reserved liquid. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the escarole and cook until heated, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Slice chicken breasts on the diagonal. Toss with escarole and beans.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories, 31% calories from fat, 10g fat, 2g saturated fat, 107mg cholesterol, 19g carbohydrates, 1g total sugar, 0g added sugar, 36g protein, 216mg sodium, 8g fiber

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To request a recipe, email Claire@ClairePerez.com. Or write to Claire Perez, Food Department, Sun Sentinel, 333 SW 12th Ave., Deerfield Beach, 33442. Include your name, town and phone number.