As we prepare the manuscript and ebook formats of our culinary history and cookbook, Almost Italian, we are rephotographing some of our creations. While we’ve spent three years looking into the rear-view mirror of our 1956 De Soto as we blogged about the evolution of Italian food in America, photography has raced ahead. Digital photography has enjoyed advances that would dazzle those paisani disembarking in New Orleans, New York, Providence and Boston to pose stiffly for their first black-and-white photos on American shores.

Chicken Scarpariello in the Pan
Photo Copyright © 2010, Skip Lombardi

One dish that merited a retake was Chicken Scarpariello, Chicken Shoemaker-style; and so we made it again last night. But because it was so hot last evening, still in the high 80’s, we grilled the chicken rather than giving it the traditional stove-top braise. The palmetto-smoke infused both chicken and sausage, adding one more dimension to an already zippy dish.

For this new photo, we served our chicken and sausages on a bed of capellini, rapidly cooked just short of al dente, before we swirled it into the pan-sauce.

Since Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of the outdoor grilling season, we encourage you to try this variation of the Italian-American classic.

Chicken Scarpariello ready to serve
Photo Copyright © 2010, Skip Lombardi

Follow the Chicken Scarpariello recipe on with these small changes:

• If possible, build your fire with hardwood charcoal and/or dry palmetto trimmings. Grill the chicken and sausages outdoors until done (about 9 minutes per side for the chicken thighs).

• In a large frying pan on the stove, sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cut the cooked sausage into rounds and slide them and the grilled chicken into the pan. Add the wine and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

You can make the dish ahead and cook the pasta just before serving.

Any Knights of Columbus marching this Memorial Day will toss of their capes, doff their plumed hats to you, and be very happy to find this on the picnic table after the parade!

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