Why bribe you with chicken cacciatore?
There for a while I was doing a really good job of keeping up. I read your blogs, wrote some thoughtful comments, “liked” what you wrote. By example you creative and gifted writers, photographers, cooks and communicators encouraged me to clean up some of my own older content and added some new.
Now I feel so bad because I dropped the ball. Not terrible-bad, just a kick my toe into the dust kind of bad. Life is busy. I’m a little stuck. I’m a little stuck on the wiring of all of this… meta plan? Outline? Organization?
Then last week’s media conference with bagels and pasta meals overly fed my geeky-stuff, information and carb addictions. I figure that a post conference day and a half spent face down in a pillow qualified it as a bona-fide bender.
Can I lure you back? Bribe you to stick around? Entice and tempt you with some good, healthy food? I thought so. You’re so easy, just like me.
a naturally gluten-free recipe that serves 4 to 6
This hearty dish, in one version or another, made its way to our dinner table as our boys grew up. Chicken Cacciatore, or Hunter’s Stew, is simple, easy, healthy and full of flavor. Stew the braised chicken pieces along with mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, garlic and herbs in tomatoes and wine and serve over polenta, rice, or pasta. Add a green salad and crusty, rustic bread to complete your feast.
- a large skillet with lid or electric frying pan with lid
- a whole chicken cut into pieces, or approximately 4 pounds of bone-in skin-on chicken pieces (I used 8 thighs.)
- 1 medium to large-sized onion
- 1 bell pepper, either green or red
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms
- 3 garlic cloves (or equivalent bottled minced garlic)
- 1/4 cup wine, red or white
- 1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 28-oz cans of petite diced tomatoes, or about 4 cups of fresh, chopped tomatoes.
- olive oil
A few cooking hacks…
Use a non-stick skillet or electric frying pan to reduce the amount of oil needed in browning and sauteing.
The chicken skin adds a great deal of flavor to the dish as it simmers but it does add fat. The choice is yours to take it off or leave it.
We like onion and garlic so I cook accordingly. If not to your taste, reduce the amount.
If you aren’t as fond of tomatoes as I am, just use half as much.
Some recipes call for finely diced carrots to add sweetness, not to mention vitamins.
You may wish to add a bay leaf.
Step One: Prepare the Vegetables and Herbs
- Measure out thyme and oregano (and bay leaf, if you wish) and set aside.
- Peel onion, cut off root end and top then slice it from end to end lengthwise into narrow wedges, about 1/4-in wide. You’ll want about 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
- Remove the stem and membranes from the bell pepper and slice it into 1/4-in wide pieces.
- Slice your mushrooms thickly. I buy them sliced… so easy.
- Peel and thinly slice your garlic, or measure out an equivalent amount of bottled, minced garlic.
Step Two: Prepare the Chicken
- Rinse the chicken, cut away as much visible fat as you can and any excess skin, then pat it dry.
- In your skillet, heat the olive oil then add a few pieces of the chicken, skin side down, taking care not to crowd it. Keeping your pan at medium-high heat, brown the first side for 5 to 7 minutes, then turn it. Plan on browning in two or three batches. Remove the chicken to a bowl or dish.
- Pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of the rendered fat/olive oil.
Step Three: Put It All Together
- Add the onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms, stirring over medium-high heat until the onions are slightly translucent and the mushrooms begin to brown. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and wine and cook for about 5 minutes or until the wine reduces by about half.
- Stir in the tomatoes, thyme and oregano and give it a taste. Add a teaspoon of salt and about 1/8 teaspoon pepper if you need to.
- Cover loosely so that some of the liquid will reduce and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Please check out my recipe index for links to more!