Thursday, January 11, 2007

Upon Request: Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore is one of the easiest Chicken recipes around. Cacciatore is Italian for “Hunter” so basically it mean’s Chicken Hunter style. I like to think of a couple of suave Italian hunters out there in the forest. With their chicken they just hunted (Really, how hard can that be?) Hunter 1 chops the chicken up, while hunter 2 goes out & finds a few wild tomatoes & smashes them up & hunter 3 collects a few wild mushrooms (hoping that they’re not poisonous) they throw it all in a cast iron skillet & drink down a bottle of wine as it simmers & they recount the tale of how they hunted down that chicken. They then go on to eat the chicken cacciatore in true hunter style. Arrrgggg!!!

Well, there you have it. I make mine a little different. It was one of those things that my mother in law made, & I don’t know about you but when my husband does that “My-mom-used-to-always-make-us….” Thing, that’s usually all I need to get down to business. I’m sure there are a many ways to do this but here’s how I do mine. I usually do not use measurements so this is just off the top of my head. A true chicken hunter has no recipes! Grrr!!

Chicken thigh 1 kg
½ c flour (couple shakes of salt & pepper)
Few tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, cut (don’t worry about tiny pieces, I like them bigger)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic (pressed)
2 bell peppers, chopped (if the crowd is not all kids & nursing/pg moms)
2 cans of whole tomatoes (16 oz)
½ c of water
10 15 white button mushrooms sliced or 1 large bunch of shimeji mushrooms divided (NO, PUT THE SHITAKE DOWN!!)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste

Cut the thigh into serving size pieces, dredge in flour, fry on medium heat in a large heavy bottom skillet till browned on both sides. Chuck in onions, garlic, spices & pour canned tomatoes on top. Cut tomatoes or give them a couple of secs in the blender & pour over the chicken & veggies. Add water, Cover & simmer on low for about 1 hr. Check on it from time to time & stir to prevent burning on the bottom. About 10 min. before you take it off the stove, add mushrooms & salt & pepper to taste. This is best served with pasta.

Fancy this dinner up by adding olives & parmesan cheese at the end. I have made up some bread dough have my kids make some caraway or basil bread sticks to go with this. Great activity & gives extra class to the meal. (Not to mention something to soak up the extra juice). And it’s Buon Appetito!

Hint: If you don’t have a good skillet, then use a good stew pot. I’ve had a few burn experiences with this recipes because the pot I put it was a pasta pot or one with a thin bottom. I tried baking it in a greased casserole dish (covered) at 200c for 1 hr. And it worked just fine to.

PS: I would have added a picture of this recipe, but as anyone who’s made this meal knows. It’s not popular for it’s looks.


nina said...

"A couple of suave Italian hunters," huh? So I guess hunters 2 & 3 wld hv to be the suave Italian hunter Siamese twins for the tale to wrk, nyahaha!

I like the way u wrote the recipe, though. It makes it seem much easier than in the Better Homes & Gardens cookbk. One Q: When u used the baking method did u still hv to stir it every so often?

babylove said...

What? Why do you always have to find the holes in my story. SIgh!! about the baking process, I only checked on it once, it won't burn in the oven if that's what you're asking. You may have to give it a few mixes to get the thickened parts (from the flour on the chicken to mix with the sauce to get it thickened up)

nina said...

Thanx! And I hv to say again, those breadsticks u & the kids made were delicioso; I hope to one day hv the fearlessness to try baking something like that. Any recipe w/ bread yeast frightens me.

babylove said...

Sorry Anon, My blog, my delete button!! Good evening!

Anonymous said...

It's more like "goodnight."

Nydia said...

Good for people to know.

sonialee said...

I used this recipe (times 5) for my homes dinner, with fresh basil (yum!) and replacing rosemary for bay leaves. Chucked in a cup of red wine. Not sure if that makes it lose authenticity.

But it was a success!