One thing I love to do is eat. Doing research about the food of Sicily has been a pleasure. So many recipes to try!
This post is about my favorite Sicilian recipe, “The Emir of Catania’s Chicken Dish.”
Of course, I did a paper about it. Rather than me repeating what’s in it, go ahead and download it.
It’s a great addition to a dayboard menu. I had made it for the al-Hafla running dayboard in January 2009, where it was well-received. I’ve made it for the A&S baking competition at Mudthaw, where it got a few tokens of appreciation.
I also found a version of the pasticcio in a paper by Donna Serena da Riva when she did a feast based on Norman Sicily. However, she calls it a “pasteda” and includes mushrooms, which confuses me, because the only place in Sicily where mushrooms are actually cultivated today is right by Mount Etna, and mushroom cultivation has only really taken off in the 1980s. There is a long tradition of wild mushroom picking in Sicily and Southern Italy (my Calabrian grandfather was an expert mushroom hunter), and theoretically a cook could have found some dried mushrooms for sale in the markets of Palermo brought in by enterprising country people. But would the Arab cooks have bothered to seek them out? I am not sure.
But then again, we all have our own interpretations of recipes, and Donna Serena’s version is undoubtedly tasty.
If you try either pasticcio recipe, let me know how they turned out for you!