Chicken Cacciatore

April 24, 2017

Chicken Cacciatore. Does this sound retro? Do you tilt your head to the side and wonder who makes that any more? Though when you think about it, a 70s versions that resemble some type of cat sick over rice doesn’t do much to make you say - ‘Hell yes, THAT is something I want to spend an hour (or more) cooking!’

It CAN be a good thing though. Cacciatore is really just an Italian hunter’s stew, so you can basically chuck some veggies and protein together and have something resembling the idea.

I cook it once or twice a year, and when I do, I wonder why I don’t cook it more often. I’m glad when I DO remember it - it’s a good one to have it in the back of my brain when I want something different. I made it this January during my detox/reset thing when I press my grey matter to come up with dishes that I haven’t pulled out in a long time. It’s chilly in January, so a stew of vegetables and chicken fit well into what normal cravings would be. Putting it over pureed cauliflower kept it within the parameters of what I eat then.

It’s simple. Really.

I used chicken thighs (but you can use any pieces you want - rabbit is also really good - turkey thighs would also rock). Sear them in a dutch oven in a little bit of olive oil after a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper until the skin has a great brown color and there is some rendered fat.

 

Remove the pieces to a plate and then sauté your roughly chopped vegetables (adding in order of appearance):

 

• 1 Large onion
• 3-4 Cloves of garlic chopped
• A couple of ribs of celery
• 1 Large red or orange bell pepper
• 2 - 3 Carrots
• A couple of generous sprigs of thyme
• Salt and pepper to taste (though I tend to add a little bit of salt with each substantial addition of vegetables)
• Pinch of red pepper flakes

After these had softened a little bit, I added a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, a handful of chopped baby tomatoes that were starting to look a little shriveled, and about a cup of wine (basically whatever you have that is hanging around - red, white, bubbles - doesn’t matter. Though I would avoid a sweet wine.)

After that I nestled the chicken pieces into the top of the vegetable mix (keeping the skin out of the liquid so that it would remain crispy. Pop the whole thing into a preheated 375º oven for about an hour to let everything get acquainted.

While that is cooking, you can steam a head of cauliflower and then puree it until smooth with a little olive oil (or butter) and a little bit of chicken stock (whole milk or cream).

I also served this over a bit of wilted arugula (it was in the fridge and needed to be used up) - spinach would work, dandelion greens, chard, etc. etc.

Spoon cauliflower puree into a shallow bowl, layer with wilted greens and stewed vegetables, top with chicken pieces. Eat, drink wine, and be happy.

Cheers,
Adriann
 

 

 

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