Crazy for Chicken

And today let’s talk about CHICKEN!
Probably not everybody knows that… “Chicken” is not only an ingredient used in many American recipes, but it is also a word that pops up in every conversation..923469_779757235370753_1754607844_n

chickenparmigiana5-721549

Chicken parmesan

For example, the other day, Mapu was talking with an American girl about the financial situation in Italy, and she said: “You have to eat more chicken and less fish”
Ok… the concept is correct, but why exactly chicken and not meat in general??
This nightmare started with Mapu’s interview where, as you probably remember, the kid told her he was crazy for CHICKEN PARMESAN and the entire family was looking at him very proudly. Later on, we discovered that this dish is labeled as Italian and every “Italian” restaurant in the States has it on the menu…

So let’s study the case and see what it is about:
Like Wikipedia tells us, Chicken Parmesan is coated chicken breast in breadcrumbs, with added spices, and on top there are mozzarella, parmesan and tomato sauce. Americans created something like 57 variations of this dish, and in some recipes, you even add (probably overcooked) spaghetti on top of the chicken and parmesan!

chicken parmigiana 2

Chicken parmesan with spaghetti

But it is not over yet!! Mapu got very curious by this dish (probably because she might need to cook it often) and she deeply studied the connection between Chicken and Americans to find out that Americans are really obsessed by chicken. They have more than 3 thousand recipes (and it is not an exaggeration.. if you don’t believe us, look here), but let’s stay focused on the Italian style!

Besides the chicken parmesan, 188 versions of chicken dishes are labeled as Italians. Among those there are some pesto dishes:

  • Pesto Cheesy Chicken Rolls
  • Chicken Pesto Pizza
  • Italian Chicken with Pesto Potatoes
alfredo fettuccini

Cicken Fettucini Alfredo

Some Alfredo’s dishes:

  • Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo
  • Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
  • Chicken Manicotti Alfredo
  • Blackened Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Some pasta dishes:

  • Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta
  • Chicken penne
  • Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup
  • Chicken Gnocchi Soup
chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala Firenze

Some dishes that include a city name:

  • Chicken Marsala Firenze
  • Tuscan Chicken
  • Chicken Milano

Some random dishes

  • Party Italian Wedding Soup
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
  • Caprese Chicken
  • Chicken caesar salad

And the inevitable

  • Chicken wings

At this point we have two questions..

  1. Why?
  2. Who is Alfredo?

Luckily we can an answer the second question (thanks internet!):
Personal Data:
Name: Alfredo
Last Name: Di Lelio
Birth place: Roma
Marital status: Married with a pregnant wife
Profession: Restaurant owner remembered for having invented a particular sauce for fettuccine.
Fettuccini Alfredo Story: One day, in 1914, Alfredo wanted to encourage his pregnant wife to eat something, so he made her some pasta, but instead of using the normal dose of butter he doubled it.
Since it was very successful with his wife, he decided to add the new recipe in his restaurant’s menu, and in 1927, two Hollywood celebrities, during a stay in the capital, tasted the dish and they fell in love with it. During the ’50 the Italian trend spread across the United States with lots of products, and one of them was the famous fettucine’s sauce invented by Alfredo di Lello.
While in Italy it never had a lot of success, in the States the approval grew over the years and nowadays you can find this dish in almost every Italian/American restaurant (even if the name changed in fettuccini) of a certain level.
NB. Today cream and a kind of parmesan are added to the original recipe.
NB. Moreover, in literature, you can only read about fettuccine Alfredo, but never about any other recipe… Probably they have been invented at a later time.
NB. In our opinion, poor Alfredo never knew he became famous.

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