Ascent 238 – Chicken Murphy From Ralph’s

Chicken Murphy is a delightful Italian dish consisting of chicken breast sauteed with mushrooms, peppers and sausage. It’s a little on the spicy side albeit not too much so. It is served with Penne pasta and either Italian or garlic bread. Why an Italian dish is named Murphy is beyond me.

I first acquired a taste for it when I lived in Texas in 1995. There was a small bistro named Gino’s just up the road from where I worked in Coppell, TX. It was perfect sized lunch, with just enough spicy and sufficient garlic to keep people at bay the rest of the afternoon.

When I left there in 1997, I pretty much forgot about it. I did get it again when I was visiting Dallas in the early 2000’s albeit I went dry after that.

A couple of years ago, I was at a restaurant in Summit, NJ and it was on the menu! I promptly ordered it up and relived the Murphy experience.

Near my office in East Rutherford, NJ, there is a small pizza place named Ralph’s that had it on the menu as a special a couple of weeks ago. While I was lunching there today, I asked if they still offered it and if I could order it at any time. They said I could and I knew what tonight’s dinner was.

As I was clocking off, I made a quick phone call and ordered up this hallowed treat, with a half-dozen garlic knots. I made a beeline for the restaurant, paid the bill and carried my prize to the car.

The downside was that I had an hour drive and was tormented by the aroma the whole way. Thankfully I had put it in the trunk, so I wasn’t able to get into it.

As soon as I got home, table was set, the food opened up and the plates filled. They had also included a fresh chunk of crispy Italian bread which was phenomenal.

And then that first taste … it was wonderful. Probably the best Chicken Murphy that I have had to date. It was a delightful meal of present savory sensations and past recollections.

I think Ralph, Murphy and I are new best friends.

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