Our Cuisine and Its History: La Festa Della Mamma (Italian America magazine)

Italy celebrates Mothers Day on the second Sunday of May. Called La Festa della Mamma, it is said to have its origins with the ancient Greeks and Romans, who observed a spring fertility ritual to honor the goddess, Rhea, mother of all the gods. In Roman myth, Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.

Mothers in Italy are revered and on their special day, they are honored with flowers, sweets, cards and songs. Many are taken to their favorite trattoria or ristorante for dinner, but if you want to prepare something delicious at home for Mamma on her day, this recipe for chicken with fresh sage and white wine would be perfect.

Petti di Polio al Vino Bianco e Salvia
Chicken Breasts with White Wine and Sage
Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup flour for dredging
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into bits
6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices
8 large sage leaves
1 1/2 cups dry white wine such as Soave or Pinot Grigio


Preheat the oven to 400F

Cut the chicken lengthwise into 2-inch wide strips.

Mix flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge each chicken strip in the flour mixture and set aside on a plate.
Pour the olive oil into a large baking pan or use two smaller ones to hold the pieces in a single layer and divide the ingredients between the two pans. Scatter the butter, garlic, and sage leaves over the oil. Lay the chicken strips on top. Bake until browned turning the strips once.

Add the wine and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes until the wine has cooked down and forms a sauce. Serve the chicken with some of the sauce poured over the strips.


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