The Chew: Mario Batali’s Mock Chicken Legs Recipe with Marilyn Batali

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Mario Batali’s Mother, Marilyn Batali

Mario Batali’s mother stopped by in honor of Mother’s Day so that she could properly embarrass him and reflect on one of their favorite dishes from when he was a child. Marilyn Batali is a little grey-haired old woman who’s got a bit more attitude and sass than her kindly gentle frame belies. The secretly not Italian Mock Chicken Leg creator grew up on a farm, but she still has a few good lines.

For example, Mario Batali apparently decided to be born before she planned for him and claimed he was always full of … well, something she couldn’t say. He could talk his way out of anything. Which I guess is why she always thought he’d make a good lawyer if he wasn’t a chef. Even though he’s a good soccer goalie and she had to ground him for sneaking ice cream, he’d always try to weasel out of cleaning toilets. Given her other statements about him, I’m going to assume he didn’t clean very many toilets.

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Mario Batali: Mock Chicken Legs

Veal

Marilyn Batali: Mock Chicken Legs Recipe

Together, Mario and Marilyn Batali cooked one of his childhood favorite meals called Mock Chicken Legs. Mock Chicken Legs are essentially breaded meat kabobs, but let’s get a little more specific than that. You take veal and pork shoulder. You cut the veal and pork into small one inch cubes. Then you place the meat on skewers, season it in salt and pepper, cover in egg and crushed Saltine pieces, and throw onto a skillet that’s heating olive oil and butter.

If you want you can deglaze the pan with vermouth and then add a lemon garnish, but all that’s really required of you is to make sure that both sides have been fried lightly and then transfer it into an oven to cook for a final 8 to 10 minutes. The recipe was created by Marilyn after eating Mock Chicken Legs at a friend’s place and trying to recreate the recipe.

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