Chicken Cacciatore Formato Brothers Style

Thanks to our wonderfully talented friend, Gary Marino, here’s a new version of Chicken Cacciatore, Formato Brothers Style

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • ¼ cup of Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Bottle of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera


In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown, in batches, for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl as they are done.

Remove the skin from the chicken, pour the fat off from the pan and discard.  (Short cut:  buy precooked chicken, remove the skin and cut it up.)


Turn the heat down to medium then add chopped garlic and cook until the garlic begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low.

Add one bottle of tomato sauce

Add 1/2 cup Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera

Add ¼ cup of Kalamata Olives

Stir and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cooked chicken to the sauce mixture.

Stir and simmer for 30 minutes to allow chicken to be flavored by the sauce mixture.  OMG……….the flavor is amazing if stored overnight in your refrigerator.

This classic Italian dish must have hundreds of versions, all resulting in a rustic braise of chicken, aromatic herbs and spices. “Some like it hot” my version uses Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera as the heat and flavor component.  If you prefer a milder sauce then I suggest using Formato Brothers Muffuletta as the flavor enhancer.


Gary Marino, Formato Friend & Chef Extraordinaire

Pagliacci Italian Seasoning & Chicken Burgers

Pagliacci seasoning 6

Being Italian is awesome.  I love all the various types of cuisine from the different regions of Italy.  Some days I’m a marinara type of gal, & some days I want to snuggle with a creamy bowl of Alfredo.  however, on certain occasions, I do love a gold, old-fashioned American cheeseburger.  As to not make my inner Italian jealous, I’ve combined the best of both worlds to create a healthy variation on an American classic.  Here’s what I use:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 cloves (or more) roasted garlic *
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 T Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 T Pagliacci Italian Seasoning

* To roast garlic:  take a head of garlic & carefully cut off the tops of all the garlic bulbs, keeping them all in tact.  Wrap in aluminum foil & drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top.  Cover with foil & bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Let the garlic cool completely & squeeze the garlic out of the bulbs.  If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, 1 T of garlic powder will do just fine.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Note that I did not use salt or pepper in my ingredients.  The park cheese intrinsically has enough salt, & the Pagliacci Italian Seasoning has everything else I need!  Form into 4 patties.

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Spray your grill, indoor or outdoor, w/ non-stick spray & turn the heat to medium high.

Cook the patties on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Pagliacci seasoning 2

Grab a few buns & toast if you like.

Place patties on the toasted buns & add your favorite toppings.  I like freely cut tomato, basil & a slice or two of mozzarella.  If you’re feeling spicy, add 1 T Formato Brothers Spicy Pepper Spread.

Pagliacci seasoning 1
This burger was healthy enough that I didn’t feel like I needed to hit the gym right away, & Italian enough so I didn’t feel like I was cheating on my heritage.  My only dilemma now is deciding which beer should accompany my burger:  domestic or imported?  : )

–Andrea Formato






Casa Giulia Orange Jam: Unexpected Guests


One of the great things I love about living so close to my family & friends is that I get to see them almost every weekend.  It’s so great to plan our special weekends, which always include delicious Italian food.  However, every now & then at lunchtime I get that unexpected knock at the door with a group of people behind it asking, “What’cha cooking for lunch?”

No problem…I got this.  “Come on in!”  Lucky for me, my kitchen is stocked with the essentials:  a loaf of Italian bread on the counter, ricotta cheese in the fridge, & a few jars of Casa Giulia Orange Jam & Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread in the pantry.

First step is to get some app’s out right away.  I decide to make some Casa Giulia Orange Bruschetta:

Blog Orange Jam 0113

  1. Slice the loaf of bread in to one inch slices, lightly butter, grill on your indoor or outdoor grill, approx 2 minutes on each side.
  2. Take the bread off the grill & then spread approx 1 Tablespoon of ricotta cheese (any kind is fine, I prefer Part Skim) on each slice.
  3. Top each slice with 1 Tablespoon of Casa Giulia Orange Jam, garnish with a basil leaf, serve to your guests!

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Blog Orange Jam 2 0113Meanwhile, I happened to be cooking some chicken breasts on the grill before my unexpected guests arrived.  Perfect!  All I needed to do is whip up a nice sweet & spicy dipping sauce for my grilled chicken.

  1. On the stove, in a small saucepan, warm 2 Tablespoons (not drained) of Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread on medium heat.
  2. Add an entire jar of Casa Guilia Orange Jam to the saucepan.
  3. Add 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice & salt to taste, if desired.
  4. Stir for 5 minutes until all ingredients are mixed.
  5. Serve as a dipping sauce for the chicken.Blog Jam Chicken Dipping Sauce 0113

Blog Orange Jam 0113

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a special get-together or if you have unexpected guests arrive on a Saturday afternoon, as long as your kitchen is stocked with Casa Giulia Orange Jam  & Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread, you’ll be able to accommodate anyone!

Buon Appetito!

–Andrea Formato

Grilled Chicken Breasts With Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad

Season thawed or fresh chicken breasts with Pelago Chicken Vesuvio rub, flavorful, easy to use.

Grill til done, turning once.  Serve with a green vegetable; we used broccoli & cheese, but grilled asparagus seasned w/ a litle olive oil, salt & pepper would work just as well.  Top each chicken breast w/ 1 -2 Tblsp of Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad.

The result is a nice blend of textures & flavors & colors.  Buon Appetito!

Grilled chicken breasts, Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad, Broccoli & Cheese

Sam’s Chicken Broccoli Bake

1 pkg Pillsbury Grands Home Style
2 boneless chicken breast (without skin), cut up pieces, not cooked
1 Tsp EVOO
1 large onion
1 red pepper, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
1 Tsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (of, if you dare, add as much as you like)
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper
1 Tblsp garlic powder
1 Tsp oregano
1 box Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Sauce

  1. Use 1/2 pkg of Grands & form into a ball of dough.  Roll to create a square shape & place in glass 9″ square baking dish.  Form up the sides about 1/2″.  It is not necessary to grease the pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake bottom for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned.
  3. Select a large frying pan for the following steps.  Wet the pan w/ EVOO.
  4. Saute the following:  cut-up onion, red peper, Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano.
  5. Add to chicken pieces.  Cook until slightly tender.
  6. Scoop chicken mixture atop pre-baked bottom pie crust.
  7. Bake for 15 minuts.
  8. While this mixture is baking, cook the Pillsbury Broccoli Cheese mixture in microwave, as per package instructions.
  9. Add it to the top of the prebaked mixture.
  10. Sprinkle a little of the Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (or to your taste) on top of the chicken mixture.
  11. Use 1/2 pkg of Home Style Grands & form into another ball of dough.  Roll dough to create another square shape & place atop the mixture.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Wait 15 minutes for flavors to blend a little more.  Then serve this very colorful & enticing dish with a crisp salad for a flavorful & healthy meal.  Buon Appetito!