Okay – I feel better now 🙂 I made a dish that didn’t fail; granted it’s a tried and true recipe and the previous ones were ones that I hadn’t tried before. Even so, I feel like less of a failure and I feel that it’s relatively post-worthy.
Look at one of my pretty Christmas gifts from my husband! A gorgeous red Le Creuset dutch oven. I’m so in love with it. I’ve been wanting one for quite a while and he remembered…I wasn’t picky about the color, but I do like red things for my kitchen so again, he remembered!
I’m not very well-versed in cookware like this, so I still have a lot to learn in terms of what I can and cannot cook in it. I figure “low and slow” is a good mantra for this pot – soups, stews, and dishes that need at least a good 30-45 minutes to meld together. I am proud of the fact, however, that I remembered that it’s a coated cast iron pot – meaning that you need to wear oven mitts whenever dealing with it or else you risk some major burns. This is also a step in the right direction for me, as I’m that person that will carelessly forget when a pan has been in the oven, and will accidentally grab it with my bare hands when I’m ready to serve it (my husband will vouch for me on this one).
Anyways – it’s winter time. It’s pep band season. We’re working a lot, and to save a little bit of cash, we need dinners that are going to last us a while so we’re not stopping at the store for a quick meal or even *ugh* fast food. Dinners that are still delicious and (relatively) healthy, but still stick to the ribs to keep us warm. Know what I mean? I thought about something to cook this week with my new pot, and immediately thought of chicken cacciatore!
Chicken cacciatore is “hunter-style” chicken; chicken with mushrooms, onion, and tomatoes. It’s a hearty dish that fills you up, goes a long way and tastes amazing. The recipe that I based my dish off of, however, doesn’t include mushrooms! I think I’ll have to make a note in my cookbook for next time.
- 4 boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, quartered (or 4-6 tenders, halved)
- salt and pepper (just a sprinkle of each)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (based on your preference)
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chicken broth/stock
- 3 tbsp drained capers
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. On a plate or in a shallow bowl, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat.
- In a large heavy saute pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and saute just until they’re just brown (~5 minutes). Do not crowd the pan; feel free to brown the chicken in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and wait two minutes. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute until the onion softens. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
- Add the wine and simmer until the liquid reduced by half (~3-5 minutes). Add the entire can of diced tomatoes (including the juice), broth, capers and oregano. Stir to combine.
- Return the chicken to the pan and coat it in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until all the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with basil and with pasta if desired.
As I said in the recipe, you can serve with or without pasta. This makes a lot of sauce and leftovers reheat really well. I had mine with a piece of baguette from work on the side to pick up any last sauce that was leftover in the dish.
I cannot recommend this recipe enough this time of year – it really warms you up and sticks to your ribs! Delicious Italian food in the dead of winter. How can you go wrong!? Enjoy 🙂