The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.31.06


Some 'Angry Chicken' for your lover?

A wise statement might be that you should never cook when you're angry. After all, you should transfer love through the preparation of a meal particularly when it is to be shared with a lover.

Why then, a new trend that sees "angry" recipes appearing all over?

I had to find out, of course. Chefs can be cunningly creative when it comes to naming their dishes. Names provide excitement for the aural palate, so to speak, and it turns out that angry really is just a cool way to say hot or spicy. It appears that "angry" is applied to sauces in most cases. Here is some proof of this theory.

Arrabbiata Sauce

Italian in origin, this sauce is considered to be one of the more fiery or spicier types of tomato sauces from Italy. Arrabbiata, which is a term generally used to describe aspects of anger or rage, is applied to the characteristics and intensity of this sauce made with chili peppers that add a spicy flavor to pasta, meats, poultry, seafood, and other foods such as pizza.

Penne all' Arrabbiata (angry penne pasta) or Agnello all' Arrabbiata (angry lamb) typify dishes having a spicier taste made with Arrabbiata sauces.

So… an angry sauce will provide a little heat and I was intrigued enough to research further. Along the way I discovered variations on the theme of course.

I found recipes for voodoo sauces and even one for a "Pissed Off Grandma" sauce. I'm not kidding and I would not like to be subject to a raging granny sauce of any sort, thank you.

I realize that Valentines Day is coming very soon and thought that I should provide an angry dish so that all conflict will be out of the way before then. If you make this now then you can kiss and make up by cooking a dish using a happy lovers sauce on Valentine week.

Pollo All'arrabbiata (Angry Chicken)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive oil
8 large chicken legs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 slices bacon- diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups canned tomato purée
1-teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2-cup chicken stock (optional)
Fresh arugula or spinach

In a large skillet over high heat, warm the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the skillet. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the bacon, garlic and onion, and sauté, stirring, until the chicken is browned on all sides. Season with salt and pepper, deglaze with the wine, and cook until the sauce reduces by half. Add the tomato purée, and bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the red pepper flakes, and adjust seasonings. If the sauce is too dry, add 1/2 cup of warm water or chicken stock. Cover and return to the heat for 10 minutes. To serve, arrange 2 pieces of chicken and sauce on each of 4 plates over fresh arugula or spinach. Serves 4.