I was inspired to make an authentic Italian meal after meeting Emma the owner of Da Emma in Montreal, Canada. Previously, she had lived in Rome and owned a restaurant there for 25 years. I asked to meet her and my husband and I went into the kitchen. She only “parle Italiano” spoke Italian, but her food spoke for itself. We all instantly had a bond. She reminded me of my grandmother. The sauce in this dish is inspired by Emma. In this dish is chicken, black olives, onions, Yukon potatoes and fresh basil.
1 whole cooked chicken (Rotisserie is fine)
1 bunch of fresh basil
6 cloves of garlic
¾ cut Kalamata olives
5 large Yukon potatoes (or yellow)
1 large can of san marzano whole tomatoes
1 large yellow onion
Wash and scrub the potatoes. Peel the skin off, I prefer the skin off but you can keep it on if you like. Once peeled, dice the potatoes into large chunks. Put in a pot with water, and boil for 10-15 minutes. They don’t have to be cooked through because they will cook more in the frying pan. Drain them and put them aside.
Making quick Tomato Sauce: (The longer version of my sauce can be found at Mariooch’s Homemade Tomato Sauce)
In a frying pan, add some olive oil and saute about 5 gloves of garlic until it browns and then toss them. Keep the olive oil in the pan. Add some fresh cloves of garlic and diced onion to the pan saute until they are translucent. Then, in the blender add the San Marzano tomatoes, some fresh basil, and a few tablespoons of olive oil, and the diced onion and garlic cloves and pulse for about 30 seconds. I also add salt, but taste is as you go along. Let this simmer 15 minutes. (you can keep the tomato seeds in this sauce, that’s why I am calling it the quick version.)
In the meantime, take all the skin off the chicken, (I always save it for my daughter who loves the skin!) and dice it. Set the chicken aside. Cut the olives in half, and check for pits, there is nothing worse than biting into a pit. Add the Yukon potatoes to the simmering sauce and let them cook for 5 minutes, then add in your diced chicken, the olives, and stir everything together. Also, add some onions in larger chunks. Let this simmer for about 30 minutes. You can add a little water as you go along. Keep the heat on low. You do not want to burn the sauce, it will not taste good. Then add the basil last. It’s ready to serve with a hot piece of Italian bread.