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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

Have you heard of cacciatore? Did you just say caccccc what? Haha trust me, I had a few of those weird sounding words in my mind too when I first heard of this. 

In Italy, cacciatore means "hunter". And when this word is in connection with food, it simply means a meal prepared in a 'hunter-style' with tomatoes, onions, herbs, bell peppers and even wine. Typically, cacciatore is often prepared with braised chicken and chicken cacciatore is often served with rustic bread or pasta.

I've seen this recipe from the Pioneer Woman which is from her latest book Food from my Frontier and I think it is superb as a one-dish meal that doesn't cause too much fuss for cooking and cleaning which is what one needs these days. Do note that this serves 6 so adjust your portions accordingly. See my modifications in blue.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound Pasta Or Egg Noodles
  • 8 whole Chicken Thighs, Skin On (can Use Any Whole Piece Chicken)
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Halved And Sliced
  • 2 whole Red Bell Peppers, Cored And Sliced (not Too Thin)
  • 2 whole Green Bell Peppers, Cored And Sliced (not Too Thin)
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Diced
  • 12 ounces, weight Mushrooms (white Or Crimini), Sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric I used 1 tsp turmeric - yes I'm crazier than PW :P
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Red Pepper Flakes, Crushed, To Taste (optional) I used paprika
  • 3/4 cups Dry White Wine
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Or Diced Tomatoes (with Their Juice)
  • Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Parmesan Cheese, For Sprinkling
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook! Drain and set aside.
  3. Salt and pepper both sides of the pieces of chicken. Dredge chicken in flour. Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Place chicken skin down in pan, four pieces at a time. Brown chicken on both sides, then remove to a clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off half the fat in the pan and discard.
  4. Add sliced onions and peppers, as well as the garlic. Stir around for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and stir around for 1 minute. Add thyme, turmeric, and salt. (And crushed red pepper flakes if you like things a little spicy.) Add extra black pepper to taste. Stir, then pour in wine. Allow to bubble.
  5. Pour in canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Add chicken back into the pan, skin side up, without totally submerging the chicken. Place lid on the pot and put it into the oven for 45 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to 375 degrees. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from the oven. Remove chicken from the pot and place it on a plate. Remove vegetables from pot and place them on a plate. Return pot to burner and turn heat to medium high. Cook and reduce sauce for a couple of minutes.
  7. Pour cooked, drained noodles on a large platter or in a big serving bowl. Add vegetables all over the top, then place chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Spoon juices from the pot over the chicken and pasta (amount to taste.)
  8. Before serving, sprinkle on chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan.


I love the crispy skinned chicken and seriously who wouldn't? Yeah frying in the kitchen was supposed to be taboo :( But I think once in a purple moon should be fine. OK, I won't think about it for now. With gentle care to ensure that the chicken skin remains crisp, I kept checking to make sure that the chicken is placed right at the top where the gravy only partially submerges it. Hehe!! With that wine-tomato gravy, soft vegetables and crisp chicken, it made the pasta taste a whole lot better. With extra oomph!! I love it! Simple one-dish meal :)
I am submitting this post to the monthly event, Cook like a Star hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of CakeTo join us, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Ree Drummond websites or cookbooks for the whole month of September 2013. You can link your posts at any one of the hosts' websites.

Your post must be a current post for September 2013 - please do not link older posts. Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy KidsMich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.


I'm also submitting this post to Cook-Your-Books #4 organized by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.


I'm also linking this post to September 2013 Cooking With Herbs Blog Challenge hosted by Lavender and Lovage.


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