In May, Dom and I were married 50 years. We decided to take a second honeymoon to celebrate. But, on this honeymoon, we would bring our oldest son, daughter in law, and grandchildren. We decided to go to Italy. Dom wanted to go to the Marche region, where his maternal grandparents lived before coming to America.
The city of Ascoli Picena was at the top of the list to visit. It is the largest city in Marche, where Dom’s grandparents were born. It is a very beautiful city, and it must have been very heartbreaking for those grandparents to leave. It makes my heart happy every time I look at these pictures of my son, grandson, husband, and granddaughter walking the same streets as their grandparents and great grandparents.
We tasted the famous stuffed and fried olives of Ascoli. These are the olives we prepare every Christmas. You can find the recipe here: https://newclassicrecipe.com/2021/12/15/olive-all-ascolana-fried-stuffed-olives/
On the way out of town, our guide pointed out that this area was famous for making a drink called Anisette. Dom recalled that his grandparents used to make Anisette at home in, of all places, the bathtub! This fact made me laugh and fueled my curiosity to learn more about Anisette.
Apparently the introduction of the anisette came from the Arabs who conquered this region. The Arabs used the anise herb for medicinal purposes. In the Marche region, in the Piceno area, anisette is liquor for lacing espresso. The anise is a traditional product used for its alcoholic distillation aromatic properties. The anise is found throughout the mountainous areas and in particular on Monti Sibillini – growing with wild fennel or with fruit (apples, oranges).
While looking for a recipe for homemade anisette, I stumbled upon a recipe for chicken made with anisette. ( Chicken Anisette by Gerry DiNardo). The recipe looked good but needed some updating. What follows is my updated version of Chicken Anisette.
- 3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 3 medium onions, sliced thin
- 1 lb of mushrooms, sliced thick
- flour, salt, and Aleppo pepper
- 2 teaspoons of Calabrian Chili Peppers
- 1 and 1/2 cup of Anisette liquor
- Marinate the chicken in a 1/2 cup of Anisette at least 2 hours before cooking.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then coat with the flour.
- In a large pan, warm the olive oil and then brown the chicken. Do not cook through.
- Remove chicken from the pan and saute the onions and mushrooms with the chili peppers.
- Drain and excess oil from the pan.
- Return the onions, mushrooms, and chicken to the pan and cover with 1 cup of Anisette.
- Cook at a slow boil until the Anisette has become a syrup and the chicken is cooked through. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
SPECIAL NOTE: I prepared this dish for 8 people, but it can easily be cut in half.
37 responses to “CHICKEN ANISETTE – sweet and warming, just like Italy”
How wonderful to return to the home of your husband’s ancestors. This recipe looks very good.
Thank you Darlene. It was very special. I could just picture Dom’s grandparents walking those streets.
That looks so good. I love that sauce a lot. The vacation with the whole family in Italy must have been really fun and wonderful.
It was a wonderful trip and the sauce from the chicken would be delicious with one of your fabulous breads.
[…] CHICKEN ANISETTE – sweet and warming, just like Italy […]
You are always so very nice and you just crack me up with your praise.
💜 This is a Lady who understands that The Way to a Mans Heart is Through His Stomach EveryOne not Money; ergo, SHE!!! is a Keeper, a Great Grand Mother who understands Her Husbands, Kids and Grand Kids Culinary Delights EveryBody
I love the flavor of anise, and I’m sure this is an explosion of wonderful! Lovely photos, and it looks like you must have had a great experience. Welcome home!
Thank you Dorothy. It was a perfect second honeymoon.
Chicken looks delicious!
Thanks guys. Everyone really enjoyed it.
Looks delicious. Adding Anisette liquor to this dish is such an amazing idea!
It is delicious and easy. Always a winning combo. Thanks Ronit.
Welcome home from your most amazing second honeymoon adventure! It sounds like it was a magical visit, and I know you will relive every moment when you recreate all the dishes you tried. This one sounds so interesting, and I love the anise flavor. 🙂
Hello girlfriend. It was amazing. Try the recipe when you get a chance. It is delicious!
I will carry the liquor from Italy next time I go and then try your recipe! 👍
By the way: the Marche region is a splendid territory.
What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary, it had to be so special. Congratulations and I hope you have many more years together. The chicken should be delicious with its sweet spicy sauce.
Thank you Karen. It was a wonderful trip and we made so many special memories.
Thanks Karen. It was a very special trip and I am very fortunate to have been able to take it.
so it gives an aniseed type flavour to the dish? is it very strong? i know it is a very polarising flavour! looks good tho!
It does give the chicken a sweetness which is countered by the chili peppers. You can taste the licorice but it isn’t overpowering.
Happy Anniversary and what an amazing family trip you must have had walking the streets of your ancestors with future generations. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Thanks Judy. It was a very special trip and I am so very lucky to have been able to take it.
Such a fun trip! And terrific recipe. Thanks!
Thank you John.
Hi Bernadette, this sounds like a delicious chicken recipe. I don’t know anisette though. I’ll have to see if I can find some.
Wow! Congratulations! I would say that was the perfect way to celebrate such an important moment in life! 💕 and what a great way to use the Anisette!
Thanks Ribana. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I am so lucky.
What a delightful dish to enjoy along with memories of your special trip and ties to Italy!
Thanks Jenna. It was the trip of a lifetime.
Happy 50th anniversary, Bern and Dom. This sounds like the trip of a lifetime. What a wonderful experience for your family. I love the photos. That cerulean blue sky is so frequently seen in Italy.
And, having sampled your chicken anisette, I can say it was over-the-top deliziosa! I can’t wait to make this dish. I love anisette and we loved your meal.
Thank you good friend and biased taste tester.
This sounds as good as it looks! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Hope you have a fantastic weekend!
Oh man – this looks as good as it sounds!! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Hope you have a fantastic weekend!
Congratulations! Not only a fantastic trip, but inspiration for new recipes, the best part of travelling! I know I will enjoy this dish as I like that anise/licorice flavour in savory meals.
Thanks Linda, I am so very fortunate to have been able to take this trip with my family.