• 1 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) chicken, skinned and cut into small (about 3-inch) pieces, with bone, thighs, and wings left whole
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • Needles from 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 1/4 cup), finely chopped
  • 5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • About 1.4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1 lemon

The first thing I ask myself when I’m looking for a recipe is what do I have in my kitchen. I try to keep the fridge stocked with at least one kind of once-mooing or once-clucking protein, and there seems to be an orphaned bottle of wine in my kitchen more often than not. Something tells me I was already on the road to tasty noms. Next, how quick and easy will this hypothetical recipe be to make into a reality. Lucky for me, Epicurious.com has a “Quick & Easy” tag for their recipes.

Chicken Gabriella seemed simple enough. All I needed were ingredients, a pan, and some simmering time. I used three large boneless and skinless chicken breasts, which amounted to about three pounds of chicken. Savvy cooks would adjust the ingredients with actual measuring cups, but I fell back into what could be construed as a terrible cooking habit; eyeballing all the ingredients. My one fail-safe cooking tip? Taste test often!

Only a few pinches of kosher salt were necessary, and I hardly touched my pepper mill. A slightly sweet Sauvignon blanc stood in for the dry white wine – the one I forgot to put on my grocery list – but cooking with wines I’d drink by themselves works on a few different levels. I scaled down the ingredients to limit pooling juices at the bottom of the pan, but the chicken didn’t gain the slightly golden blush like in the sample photo. Maybe food stylists have given me false food expectations.

I spooned about a 1/4 cup of juices out of the pan during the final simmering stage, and the result was a chicken dish with a light lemon flavor. Steamed broccoli was my chosen side dish, but next time I’ll go with the recommended  steamed white rice to soak up the lemon juices on the plate. Either way, I can see myself trying this recipe again.

The full Chicken Gabriella recipe by Anna Boiardi and Stephanie Lyness can be found on Epicurious.com. There’s also an interesting interview with Anna Boiardi, daughter of Chef Ettore “Hector” Boiardi, about her family and new combination autobiography and cookbook at NPR.org.


Put the chicken pieces in a 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) with a lid, along with the chopped onions, rosemary, and sage. Stir well to coat the chicken with the onion and herbs. Add enough olive oil to coat all of the chicken pieces, but not so much that it pools in the skillet. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.Set the skillet over medium heat. Cook until the onions are very soft and the chicken and onions have turned golden brown, about 20 minutes. If the onion begins to brown too fast, turn down the heat. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer gently until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over, taste for salt and pepper, and serve.