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Friday, April 8, 2016

Curtis Stone's Chicken Cacciatore

As exams are looming, you would probably noticed my posts reducing in frequency. Rest assured I'm not giving up on blogging and recording down recipes that I've cooked, tested and tried.

I've missed the farewell to Ellie Krieger last week but this week I'm definitely in it for Curtis Stone's arrival!!

It has been sometime since I cooked or baked with Curtis Stone. I must say that I do like his recipes. Nothing too fancy but yet very homely and yummy too. To begin with, I'm cooking Curtis' chicken cacciatore. I realised it was a recipe I bookmarked since 2013! Gosh! What took me so long?? See my modifications in blue.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (6 to 8) Basically, you can use any chicken parts you like
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 ounces sliced pancetta bacon, coarsely chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 small red bell pepper, diced I added 3 bell peppers (haha!! I'm a big fan of them)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large thyme sprigs (I used a few dashes of dried thyme)
1 fresh bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (I added 1 tbsp red pepper flakes. Psst, Mr G likes it spicy)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 pounds fresh very ripe tomatoes (about 5 medium)
3/4 cup chicken broth (to reduce the saltiness as I'm also adding bacon, I used 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup water)
6 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Method:
  1. Heat heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat and add oil to the pan.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
  3. Cook chicken until it is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add pancetta bacon to same pan. Sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta bacon to small bowl.
  5. Add mushrooms to pan and sauté until they become tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add bell peppers and onion and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes and sauté until garlic softens, about 1 minute.
  8. Add wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, stirring to scrape up browned bits on bottom of pan, about 1 minute.
  9. Add tomatoes and their juices, chicken stock, and olives. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low.
  10. Return chicken and its accumulated juices pan, nestling chicken into sauce. Gently simmer uncovered until tomatoes melt into sauce and sauce thickens slightly, about 40 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and basil.
  11. Spoon the chicken and sauce onto plates. Sprinkle with the reserved sautéed pancetta bacon and parmesan cheese.

I remember the last time I cooked chicken cacciatore, Mr G wasn't too fond of it. I think it was because I added the whole can of tomatoes. As you can tell, Mr G isn't really a big fan of sour food like tomatoes but that is totally opposite from me! :P In any case, I think this method of cooking with fresh tomatoes may be a better idea. 

The moment I passed Mr G his bowl, he started slurping and savouring everything without saying a word. I take that as a stamp of ultimate approval LOL!! After he was done, I asked him if it tasted good and most importantly, would you eat it again? He said why not? It tastes super good. Okie!! Curtis, you won this one :) Best one pot meal I would say. On a side note, I did like mine with some parmesan cheese. For Mr G, without parmesan is already very good for him. Haha enough said! Now go try it.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs - G'day Curtis.



I'm also submitting this to Cooking with Herbs - March - Easter and Spring organized by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage

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