Monday, October 17, 2005

Chicken Cacciatore

*The problem with this recipe is that I started with a quart jar full of tomatoes I had just stewed that morning, picked fresh from my garden. I used three or four large yellow heirloom tomatoes. I started with a medium onion and half of a large green bell pepper, diced. I sautéed those until the onion was translucent, then added some fresh ground black pepper, some sea salt, and poured enough white wine vinegar over the lot to get it nice and sizzling. I mixed the sautéed veggies in with the diced tomatoes, threw it all in a quart size jar, and canned them in a water bath for 45 minutes. I guess you could buy canned stewed tomatoes instead.

Mise en Place
  • Chicken, one whole plus a bit, cut up
  • Tomatoes, one quart diced
  • Garlic, a whole damn bulb, crushed
  • Bell Pepper, one large red one, chopped
  • Mushrooms, one pound? (whatever size that Clingfilm-wrapped package is, maybe 12oz), sliced
  • Italian Sausage, 3. I think they were turkey sausage, squoze out of the casing
  • *Stewed tomatoes, one quart, diced

Right, now for the chicken cacciatore.

First I poured the quart of stewed tomatoes into a casserole pan. Ok, that’s not quite true. Before that, I scrounged Dad’s cupboards for some half decent wine and came up with a 2001 Camelot Zinfandel. Not at all bad. I handed the bottle to Trisha to open and asked her to pour a glass for me.

Then I cut up and skinned a whole chicken (plus a sandwich sized ziplock of random chicken Mama had in the freezer), and browned the pieces in an iron skillet. I placed the chicken pieces on the stewed tomatoes as they browned, and refilled my wine glass.

Next, I cut up a large onion and a red bell pepper into largish pieces and set those to sauté in the pan that I had used for the chicken. This served to free up all the yummy brown chicken bits from the pan. Then I added three Italian sausages that I had found in the freezer, defrosted and smooshed out of the casing. Meanwhile, Mama had sliced the mushrooms, which I added to the pan once the onions had become translucent, along with a whole bulb of garlic. Yeah, I started peeling the cloves and got a little buck nutty. Once the mushrooms were wilted I deglazed the pan with some Marsala wine, then dumped in another quart jar of those yellow tomatoes from my garden, only these ones had been canned with just a little salt and nothing else. Refilled wine glass.

I let that simmer for a few minutes to reduce the liquid, then I poured it over the chicken in the casserole pan and put in the oven at 350f degrees for about an hour or an hour and a half. I probably was done after 45 minutes, but my sisters weren’t back from the store yet with the ceasar salad and garlic bread stuff.

Dad raved about the chicken to no end, so I guess the extra time didn’t hurt much.
This recipe served about 8 with a few leftovers.

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