Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

This is a dish I had never made! We were watching the Food Network last weekend when Bobby Flay challenged a New York Fireman: Chicken Cacciatore. They both looked really delicious!

Julie, after watching the show avidly, requested the Cacciatore for Sunday night dinner...So here I am, writing down a list for Bob to go shopping (Thanks Bob!) and trying to figure out my own recipe!! It is actually pretty easy to make, but don't forget that it has to simmer for at least 1 1/2 hour. So plan accordingly!!!

Chicken Cacciatore

Serves 8

12 chicken thighs, skin on, extra fat removed
1 cup all purpose flour, on a large plate

2 medium size onions, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced in 1/2 inch strips
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Olive oil

9 or 10 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 small can of diced tomatoes
3 cups of dry white wine
1 cup of chicken broth

1 bunch of fresh basil, chopped

In a large Dutch oven, or heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and red bell peppers and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add about half the garlic, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with a little chicken broth, reduce for a minute and pour into another bowl.

You will now sear the chicken pieces, in batches. For this I usually have a sheet pan ready for the seared meat, right next to the pan I am using.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same Dutch oven.
Coat the chicken pieces in flour. Place in the hot pan, without crowding, skin side down. Let cook for about 4 or 5 minutes until skin is golden and crispy. Turn the chicken and cook for another couple of minutes, until seared. Remove the pieces of chicken from the pan and place in the sheet pan. Repeat until all the chicken is seared. You do not need to add anymore oil, as there is chicken fat left in the pan. When done you can empty the fat in a can to discard. Then deglaze the bottom of the pan with chicken broth, scraping all the pieces. Add to the previous bowl with the pan juices. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan. Add the plum tomatoes and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the onion mixture and stir. Add the white wine, the diced tomatoes, the rest of the garlic, the rest of the dried oregano, the hot red pepper, the pan juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce for 10 or 15 minutes.

Add the chicken, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hour.

When done, just before serving, spinkle the chopped fresh basil.
Serve over pasta or rice.

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