Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken, onions, herbs and red wine - what's not to love about Chicken Cacciatore. This one pot dish couldn't be easier to do, and you can make plenty of it, because it tastes even better the next day!

My recipe below will make 2-3 servings, but it's easy enough to just double the ingredients to feed more. And you can pair this dish with your favorite pasta.

I like to cook with wine, mainly white wine, but for a deeper wine flavor, red is the way to go. With slow simmering, the alcohol cooks away. And red wine goes especially well in a traditional Italian tomato and herb sauce.

I used a small airline bottle of red wine and it's just enough for my recipe. And I bet you know where I get my small bottles of wine....yep, the 99c only Store. Any red wine you can find cheaply will do.

I also get dried herbs there too. But if you have a herb garden then use fresh herbs. You can even use an Italian dried herb mix.

Chicken is cheap and I get mine at bargain basement prices from my local Latin market. Of course, you can use organic chicken if you can afford it.

So check back for more cheap$kate chicken recipes, and get going with this flavorful and easy to make Chicken Cacciatore.

Ingredients (2-3 servings)
1/2 chicken - or equivalent in chicken pieces. I used 2 leg quarters, that is, 2 thighs and 2 legs. You can leave on the bones and skin, or remove. I used boneless and skinless leg quarters on sale.
1 whole onion - medium size white or yellow, chopped.
14.5 ounce can of tomatoes - whole, chopped or crushed. The main thing is to have some tomato pieces in the sauce. You could use tomato sauce, just add a chopped whole tomato for some texture.
3/4 cup of red wine - I used a small airline bottle amount.Any type of red wine will do.
2-4 sage leaves - or 1/4 teaspoon dried
2-4 sprigs of parsley - or 1/4 teaspoon dried.
1 small sprig of rosemary - or 1/4 teaspoon dried.
1 bay leaf - fresh or dried.
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve with pasta, rice or any favorite dry starch that can soak up the delicious Cacciatore sauce.
*It's okay to use an Italian dried herb mix instead of fresh herbs or individual jars of dried herbs - use about a teaspoon total.

Heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook on the skin side until browned, about 5-10 minutes. Don't move chicken for a few minutes so the pieces brown. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste.

The first few minutes all the liquid will come out, then it evaporates and starts to brown. You don't need to cook the chicken pieces all the way through. You will finish cooking the chicken when you add all the liquid ingredients.

Once one side of the chicken is browned, remove and set aside. It's okay to brown one side, this cuts down on cooking time and you will serve the chicken with the browned side showing anyway.

Add a chopped onion and saute and stir to scrape up the tasty brown bits. Cook onion until it softens, about 5 minutes.

Next pour in the red wine and 1 small can of tomatoes. Stir and break apart the tomatoes if they are whole.

Sprinkle on the herbs. Finally add the chicken pieces. It's okay to use a teaspoon of an Italian dried herb mix instead of fresh herbs or from single jars of dried herbs.

Cook uncovered for about half an hour at a low simmer. The sauce will reduce by half and the chicken should finish cooking all the way through. (Depending on your stove top burner, you can add a quarter cup of water at a time, if the liquid cooks away too fast.)

After the chicken has been cooking for 15 minutes, you can make pasta. Follow the package directions.

The pasta should be ready when the Chicken Cacciatore is ready. Remove the bay leaf. Add pasta to a plate and top with some of the chicken and flavorful tomato sauce. Dig in and enjoy.

(You can break up the chicken pieces when they are done, but it's okay to just serve it up, big pieces and all.)

1 comment:

Joseph Bloch said...

Two things:

I personally like my cacciatore to have a "fall apart in your mouth" texture, so I'd probably at least double the cooking time and cook covered so the sauce doesn't reduce quite as much. But that's just personal preference; your recipe looks terrific.

Also, there are flavinoids in tomatoes that are only soluble in alcohol. So I always add just a little wine whenever I'm cooking with tomatoes. Otherwise, you're missing out on half the flavor.

Great recipe overall. Thanks!

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