Donatella Cooks Up Chicken on 'Today'

This week I went on the Today show to celebrate my cookbook and to launch my iVillage web video series, Donatella Diaries. I wanted to show that even boring chicken can be fun and glamorous. This was the first time I got to cook with Al [Roker] (which was great because I know he is such a foodie) and we made my almond encrusted chicken with tomato salad.

Tips for making perfect cutlets:
-Buy organic. When it comes to chicken this is very important.
-Be sure the cutlets are nice and dry before dipping into the egg mixture.
-Be sure to pound evenly, starting from the middle and working your way out. Evenly pounded chicken cooks evenly.
-Don’t flip your chicken too much. You want the chicken to form a nice golden crust, which takes about 3 minutes each side!

I also showed off my beautiful herb tied salads with edible flowers. My mom called me right after the segment and said, “Donatella, do you really eat the flowers?” The salads are perfect for brunches and showers—they’re so elegant, healthy and easy.

Watch my appearance here

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We finished the segment with my strawberry semifreddo for dessert. This recipe is also in my book and it is so easy. Even though I didn’t demo it live, you can check out the recipe below.

As an Italian I always make extra and I love the fact that right after the segment the entire crew ate everything. Ann [Curry] loved the chicken!


Strawberry Semifreddo

Literally translated, semifreddo means "partially frozen." it's a texture that's achieved by incorporating air into the strawberries and cream mixture. It's simpler to make than ice cream, more intriguing than mousse, yet shares the best qualities of both. The beauty of semifreddo is that you can mold it in just about any container, from wax coated paper cups (torn away before serving), a loaf pan (for sliced in slabs), or silicon muffin tins (for shaped desserts). If you chill it in a tub, you can scoop it straight from the container.

Tuaca is a golden liquer made in Tuscany. It infuses the semifreddo with the subtle flavors of orange and vanilla.

4 cups strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Tuaca or Grand Marnier, optional
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh strawberries, for garnish
Fresh mint, cut in thin strips for garnish.

Line an 8" or 9"x5"x3" loaf pan, if using, with plastic wrap and set aside.

Combine the strawberries, sugar, and Tuaca in the bowl of a food processor and puree. Reserve 1 cup. Pour the remaining puree into a large bowl. Whip the cream in another bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Fold the cream into the puree using a rubber spatula, working from the bottom of the bowl, until there are no signs of cream. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze utnil firm, about 2 hours.

Invert the semifreddo onto a serving plate. Remove the plastic wrap and, when slightly softened, smooth the top with a knife. Cut into 3/4"- to 1"- thick slices, garnish with the strawberries, mint and some of the reserved puree drizzled on top.

- Donatella


You can find these recipes and tips, plus lots more, in her brand-new cookbook Donatella Cooks. We're giving away five free copies—check us out on Twitter to find out how to win one.

Want the chance to win a meal for two at Donatella's restaurant in New York City? Enter the Dinner at Mia Dona Sweepstakes now!


-Homemade Italian: Family Recipes from Donatella Arpaia
-See all articles about Donatella Arpaia
-Read all Donatella's blog posts

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