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Chicken Spiedini is a favorite at Fratelli's Ristorante

Chicken Spiedini is a favorite dish at Fratelli's Ristorante in St. Charles. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Q • Would you ask Fratelli’s Ristorante for the Chicken Spiedini recipe? — Ellie Mosbacher, St. Charles

A • If it’s Fratelli’s and it’s Saturday, count on the Saturday special, Chicken Spiedini. “And we’re just like Pappy’s,” says co-owner Joe Alagna. “When we run out, we run out.” (This week only, through Sunday Fratelli’s will offer Chicken Spiedini every day, not just on Saturday.)

Joe and his brother Tom have owned Fratelli’s (the name means “brother”) for 31 years and still find the business rewarding. Recently, Joe felt a twinge of concern when a customer asked to speak to a manager. Instead, the customer just wanted to say thanks. Joe says, “The business is what you make it. We offer quality food, quality service, a memorable experience.”

Fratelli’s is known for southern-style Italian fare, especially a signature four-cheese lasagna and chicken piccata. Chicken Spiedini has been on the menu since day one. Joe once cooked it for a silver-wedding party at home. “It was quite a hit,” he says. “People love the taste.”

Joe explains, “My brother and I grew up with authentic Italian food. It shows in the restaurant’s good ingredients: extra-virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh seasonings.”

Joe offers tips for home cooks who want to replicate Fratelli’s Chicken Spiedini. Most important, he says, is to allow time for the marinade to work: more time is OK, he says, but not less. To impress a date, he laughs, finish the skewers on a grill pan to form impressive grill marks.

Fratelli’s Ristorante

2061 Zumbehl Road, St. Charles

Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.