Chasing the Ratatouille Dragon

Editor’s Note: LC has one heck of a project going on. She’s pledged to archive her family’s’ recipes, chicken scratched notes and all. And although she sent this post to me acknowledging, “I have been delinquent on many things, not least of which is my recipe project,” I know she secretly loves uncovering the depths of her ancestral cabinet. Here’s a continuation of LC’s family cookbook. And here’s her first entry into ES chronicling. Now enjoy round two. And ps, her mom is a trained chef – pay attention to the appendix.


I just watched Ratatouille and at one point the cold, cynical, snobby food critic is transported back to his childhood upon tasting the dish ratatouille. You can see his presumptuousness and pomposity fall away as he takes a bite of his childhood.

The dish I’m presenting you today, Chicken Almondzini, is not that kind of a dish. There’s no transcending. No passionate memory floods upon first taste.  But it is quite delicious nonetheless.

Per my grandmother’s main criteria for dishes needing to feed armies, Chicken Almondzini will feed a lot of people.  When my mom and I recreated it we didn’t plop it in a casserole dish—which would have made it more “home cooking-y”—for fear it would have also been dry as toast.

Our creation is in recipe form, which I know is contrary to ES philosophy, but feel free to make it to your taste. If you want to make it to my mom’s taste however, her exacting standards can be met by adhering to the following:

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