The quintessential recipe from Cooking with Regis & Kathie Lee is Gelman’s Chicken Amore. For the uninitiated, Gelman is Regis’ nickname for Live… Producer Michael Gelman. Producers are typically behind-the-scenes sorts of folks, but Regis went out of his way to bring Gelman into the spotlight. Gelman had been working with Regis since he was an intern, and wasn’t quite thirty when he took the reins as Producer on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. Thirty-odd years later he is Executive Producer on Live with Kelly and Ryan and still very much in front of the camera:
Gelman’s Chicken Amore was featured on the show’s Bachelor Cooking Week. The description of the segment is so funny I had hoped to find this on Youtube, but we’ll have to settle for the book’s retelling:
On the production sheet, this segment was called “Gelmonster Gastroomics”. Executive Producer Michael Gelman prepared this seductive recipe … decorating the kitchen, lowering the lights, and playing Ravel’s “Bolero,” [with] Michael and Regis [sporting] satin smoking jackets. At the end of the segment, Gelman was surprised by three women in bikinis who covered him with kisses.
I imagine this segment would be received differently in the twenty-first century. In the intervening years Gelman has married and has two grown daughters, and may be grateful that this clip isn’t making the rounds online.
Gelman was apparently a competent bachelor chef – his Chicken Amore is worth making with or without bikini models. Chicken breasts are lightly fried cooked in a white wine sauce, lightly seasoned and dressed up with mushrooms and colorful vegetables. The chicken and accompanying sauce are served over noodles. There’s no butter or cream or cheese and yet the dish still ends up feeling rich and quite substantial, even with plain Jane chicken breasts. My family thoroughly enjoyed this, and the leftovers were gone by lunch the next day. Gelman’s original recipe uses olives, which are a no-go for one family member. I’ve substituted capers instead, which seem to provide the same briny goodness without forcing me to make a second meal. I’ve also substituted spaetzle for conventional wide egg noodles, which have the same eggy richness but also enough substance to soak up the sauce. With conventional egg noodles the sauce rolls off like water on a duck’s back.
This dish is kind of an all in one – accompaniments should be simple. A baguette will be nice to sop up the tasty sauce, and a simply dressed salad or green vegetable will help you feel better about carb-loading. Enjoy!
- 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs worth - avoid the gigantic ones)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups dry white wine
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ½ tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- dash hot sauce
- 1 tbsp capers
- 4 oz jarred pimientos
- 1 lb dried spaetzle (or egg noodles)
- Season chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess.
- In a large cast iron pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Extra-virgin olive oil has a low smoke point so don't go crazy.
- Lightly brown chicken in oil, about three minutes per side, working in batches as needed. Shake off excess oil before removing from the skillet and set aside.
- Add mushrooms to oil and saute for 4-5 minutes until mushrooms start to sweat and give up their moisture. Add the chicken back to the skillet and spoon the mushrooms over top.
- Mix remaining ingredients (except for the spaetzle) and pour over the chicken breasts, ensure that vegetables are distributed evenly. Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer for 30-35 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare spaetzle accordingly to package directions in well-salted water.
- Serve chicken on top of spaetzle. Spoon sauce and vegetables over top.