Last Supper Smells

The other day, in the midst of getting ready for a catering job, I had a Last Supper ‘Smells’ experience. I agreed to supply the rosemary for my bride’s napkin rings for her wedding reception. Rick, my husband went to ‘our walk’ rosemary patch and clipped 160 branches, washed and placed them in a plastic container and set them in the hallway of our house. When it was time to leave for work, Rick did as he usually does, loaded our computers, my briefcase and in this case, the box of rosemary. I, as usual, gathered my cell phone, glasses, watch and water. As I passed thru the hallway, I caught a whiff of the rosemary. At once, the smell reminded me of my Mom’s roasted chicken with rosemary, Chicken Lombardo. Mom’s chicken, the smell, the taste, the memory of her cooking this dish is for me, a Last Supper experience. If I were to pass and had eaten my Mom’s roasted chicken as my last, it would truly have been the best Last Supper.

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken Lombardo

Referred to as the snooty relatives, Lombardo is the family name of our Northern Italian relatives. Nevertheless, Mom said that this recipe stems from them.

The ingredients and method:

Start with chicken halves, breast and leg quarters connected. Cut off any fat nodules, skin or gristle. Rub with salt or baking soda, rinse and pat dry. Squeeze fresh lemon on the chicken halves. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the chicken halves skin side up in a Pyrex dish or roasting pan. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, fresh garlic and Italian seasonings*. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the chicken. Turn over and repeat the process. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes. Remove, turn skin side up. Roast for another 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and check. The skin should be golden, the juices are clear and the legs move easily. To serve, cut thru the joint legs and quarters and place  on a platter. Cut the breasts lengthwise, one with the wing joint included, about a third of the breast. The other piece will be about 2/3rd’s of the breast length. Garnish with fresh rosemay.

Occasionally, Mom would alter ingredients. I am certain her original recipe called for Italian seasonings from a jar! Later, these mixed herbs were replaced with fresh rosemary. If I do choose to use the mixed Italian herbs, I cut them fresh from my herb garden and dry.


Love and Garlic, Nancy Vajretti celebrating The Cooking Secrets of the Lazy V!


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