Learning As I Chop

A Special Guest Post!

Posted in Baking/Cooking, Guest Post by R @ Learning As I Chop on November 15, 2010

H has been very supportive of LAIC, and I was away this weekend, so H offered to write a guest post! Keep in mind that I had the camera, so all pictures were taken via his Iphone.

R was on a girls’ trip this weekend, so I was doing the chopping.  After a long car ride home, I figured she would want a hot, tasty meal, and even to sit at the table (I prefer eating at the coffee table).  I like Italian food, but R asked for something healthy, so I decided chicken cacciatore would be a good choice.  This is a dish that I have made before, but always forget what kind of canned tomatoes to use (diced, crushed, whole, stewed), so I did a quick Google and found this recipe from Giada.

4 chicken thighs

2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise

2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3/4 cup dry white wine

1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons drained capers

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

” Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

 In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

 Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.”

I tend not to be a stickler for recipes, as long as I get what we’re trying to do.  The local grocery store had everything I needed, but I decided to go with regular sodium chicken broth and left out the capers.  I don’t like capers.

I’ve made this recipe in both a slow cooker and on the stove, and like the way it comes out on the stove.  I’ve also used chicken breasts and whole chicken, and prefer the whole chicken approach.  So this time, I purchased an Empire kosher chicken that was already cut into 8 pieces, and chopped the larger pieces into smaller ones.  I also used my favorite cast iron skillet, which I bought with R on one of our first dates. (There was one time when it was accidentally washed with soap, but that’s a story for another day). 

The dish was served over egg noodles with a side of spinach.  It came out well, though next time I think I’ll add some mushrooms to the sauce. 

This meal was DELICIOUS. Seasoned well and very tasty. A Sunday night treat and I definitely recommend it. Hope you liked H’s guest post. I think he had fun writing it, and will hopefully join us again soon. Enjoy!

PS Day 2 of eating this dish (had leftovers for lunch), and I think Kosher chicken is the way to go. You can totally taste the difference.