Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Brainy Italian Chicken Cacciatore!

Cooking 'cacciatore' means cooking 'hunter style'. In Italian cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a dish that has been prepared "hunter-style" and that means with onions, tomatoes, red peppers, green olives,and herbs not to mention if you dried fruits like plums.

For this dish, you will need to buy six (or enough for each dinner guest) chicken thighs with the bone in and skin on. A richer flavor will develop by having the bone in and skin; in fact, necessary for this dish to be truly authentic 'hunter style'.

Begin by searing the chicken thighs skin side down in olive oil on high heat either in a skillet or even in the oven on 400F (use a glass baking dish if you prefer to oven roast). Turn over the thighs and brown the under side as well.

When it comes to cacciatore, the basic recipe (tomatoes, chicken stock, dried herbs and dried plums) is always the best; however, you can add whatever you like to the mix (red or green pepper, onion, black olives)... except for broccoli. Certainly, whether you roast in the oven or simmer in the skillet, make sure you have fresh whole tomatoes to add or quality canned stewed tomatoes.

Turn down the heat to med. (oven to 325). Add to the skillet or baking dish, the tomatoes, chicken stock and herbs: rosemary, oregano and mint along with garlic powder and red pepper flakes for zing but not necessary.  Cover and simmer for 40 min (oven time too) while you prepare a side.

Use a wide egg noodle pasta, or linguine or even mashed potatoes as your side. Once the pasta is tender, drain, rinse and then ladle onto a low lipped serving plater. Top with the chicken cacciatore.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

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