Nana’s Manicotti

Main Courses

Biscuit recipe:

2 c flour
4 Tbsp shortening (oleo was used in this recipe)
3 tsp baking powder
2/3 c milk
1 tsp salt

Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until you have a course consistency. Add
enough milk while stirring with a fork to make a soft dough that can be easily
handled. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead about 20-30 seconds. Roll or
pat out to about 1/2″ to 1″ thickness, cut into round pieces with a cutter or into
squares. If you are making just the biscuits and not the casserole, place them on a
greased pan (leave a space between them if you want them crusty). Bake 450 degrees
for 12-15 min. For the casserole, follow the next instructions.


Turkey Biscuit Casserole:

Place small pieces or cubes of leftover turkey in a casserole dish. Add 1 can cream
of mushroom soup thinned slightly with broth or gravy. You can add olives, fresh
mushrooms, mix in and top with small, unbaked biscuits. Bake in a hot oven about 25
minutes till the biscuits are brown.

Pizza Sauce

1 onion
1 large can stewed tomatoes
small can puree
sprinkle of oregano
sprinkle of basil
salt, pepper to taste

Brown the onion in a pan, add the tomatoes and mash in the pan til mostly liquid.


Pizza dough

2 lbs unbleached flour
2 pkgs granular yeast (rule of thumb is one pkg of yeast per pound of flour)
1 – 2 eggs (use 2 if you are in a dry climate)
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp honey or sugar to taste
3 Tbsp butter
wheat germ or flour to sprinkle on the table
1 Tbsp olive oil

Follow the directions for the yeast. Put the flour into a large bowl or pot and make a well in the middle. Pour in the well the yeast, egg, salt, honey, butter and beat together within the well. Gradually add 1 c very warm water so the butter and honey will melt, and gradually incorporate the flour into the mixture. Add warm water as needed (not hot, as that will kill the yeast).

Sprinkle the wheat germ on the table and put the dough on it. Knead rapidly while dough is still warm until the dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. Pat olive oil all around the dough ball and put it back in the bowl, in a warm place such as in the oven or in a sink that contains warm water. Leave it for 20 minutes or until the dough is double inn size. Then punch down the dough, turn it over and let rise until you get a springiness from the dough when you press lightly with your finger. The other indicator is that the dough has doubled in size again. This should be about 45 minutes.  Grease the pizza pans (Nana used rectangular pans.)

Cut the dough in half, let sit for a few minutes, then spread on the greased pan and let it rise again abt 1/4-1/2 inch “. Sprinkle olive oil on the dough, then oregano. Add whatever cheese you plan to use (parmesian, mozarella). Add other toppings (we had pepperoni, sausage, olives, marinada sauce, provolone, or cheddar) and then let the finished pizza sit for at least 10 minutes to raise a bit more.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 1/2 hour and start testing at 20 minutes for doneness. Take the pizza pan out and set it on a place such as a rack so the pan is elevated.

Note: This pizza has the thick Sicilian crust.

Whole frying chicken
salt and pepper to taste
All purpose flour
Crisco lard ~ Use enough lard to provide about 1 ½ to 2 inches deep of melted lard. Do not use too much or the frying pan will overflow when you add all the chicken pieces. If Mary did not have enough lard, she added bacon grease from her stove-top container.

1. Cut chicken into individual pieces. You can substitute your favorite chicken pieces, but the flavor tastes best when you use the whole chicken ~ minus the organs, of course! Today’s chicken pieces contain more chicken skin than when she cooked. So, trim some of this excess chicken skin.
2. Rinse each chicken piece in water, shake most of the water off the chicken piece, and place the chicken piece onto a dry surface (i.e. wax paper, cookie sheet, etc.). Do not pat the chicken dry.
3. Sprinkle salt on both sides of each chicken piece.
4. Put about a 3 inch deep frying pan (preferably cast iron) onto the stove burner, add lard to the frying pan, turn the burner to a setting between medium-high and high, and melt the lard. A haze will appear over the frying pan when the oil is hot.
5. While the lard is melting, put some flour into another bowl and season the flour with some salt and a little pepper. Skip the pepper if you are cooking for kids.
6. Coat the biggest piece of chicken piece with seasoned flour and place the edge of the chicken piece into the hot oil. If the chicken edge does not sizzle, remove the chicken piece, recoat the edge of the chicken piece with seasoned flour, and try again in a few more minutes. Repeat this process until the chicken edge sizzles. Then, place the chicken piece completely into the oil.
7. Coat the next biggest chicken piece with seasoned flour and gently place the chicken piece into the hot oil. Repeat this step until the frying pan is full but not crowded. If you run out of seasoned flour before you have coated all the chicken, just make more seasoned flour.
Tip: If you add chicken pieces too quickly or crowd the frying pan, the oil will cool down too much. If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will taste greasy and less crispy. If the oil is too hot, the chicken will look done but will be undercooked.
8. When the chicken is golden brown on one side, turn the chicken over. After cooking for a while, lift the edge of each chicken piece up to see if the second side is golden brown. If not, continue cooking. If so, remove the chicken pieces and drain on paper towels. Cook time runs around 20 -25 minutes. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have cooked all of the chicken pieces.

2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut into strips
2 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 c fresh green beans sliced thinly
1/4 tsp ground ginger (or a little finely cut ginger root)
1 1/2 c carrots thinly sliced diagonally
1 1/2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Pre-heat oil in wok or skillet, med temp, 2 min. Add beans and ginger. Cook 3 min, stir constantly. Add chicken strips, carrots. Cook 10 min, continue stirring, add a little oil if needed. Add mushrooms, cook 1 min. Add rest of ingredients and heat through.
This dish is good with rice.

2 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 pkg ziti
2 medium zucchini and 2 red peppers, cut into strips
2 c sliced mushrooms
1/4 c chopped scallions
1/3 c butter
1/4 tsp pepper
2 c chopped tomatoes
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c milk
1 c chicken broth

Cook the pasta. Grease a 14″ x 10″ x 2″ baking dish. Saute in a skillet the zucchini, peppers, mushroom, scallions in butter, 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and spoon that mixture over the cooked pasta. Place the flour in the skillet, blend in the milk, add the broth, nutmeg, pepper. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, heat until thickened then add spinach and mix together. Pour over the veges that are on top of the pasta. Bake 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Or, mix in the spinach sauce with the veges and pasta and then bake.

1/2 lb skinless breast cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/2 c sliced onions
2 Tbsp oil
1/3 c shredded provolone
2 c small mushrooms
1 c each zucchini, red pepper, julienne cut
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb raw shelled shrimp
2 c fresh spinach cut in 1/2″ stips
1/2 lb fettucini cooked, drained

In large sillet, saute chicken and onions in hot oil until browned. Add veges and saute 2 minutes longer, then add the sauce and the shrimp, cook completely and ladel on top of the pasta. Top with provolone.

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
20 little red potatoes, quiartered
1 dpzen garlic cloves, peeled
juice from one lemon
1 tsp garlic powder
handful fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp each salt, pepper
3/4 c olive oil

Combine juice, 1/2 c olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary. Marinate the chicken strips in that mixture overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a baking pan, lay the strips on one half of the pan and pour the marinade on them. In a separate bowl, toss the potatoes, cloves, salt, pepper, oil, rosemary, and place in the other half of the pan.
Roast 45 minutes and then remove the chicken. Stir the potatoes in the remaining liquid and roast them until done, probably another 30 minutes. Garnish with additional rosemary, if desired.

4 chicken breasts, flattened
3 1/2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp rosemary leaves, crushed
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

Combine everything but the chicken in a bowl. Dip the chicken pieces into the mix then place in baking dish. Bake 40-50 min at 325 degrees til chicken is cooked.
Serves 4