Gravey and Rice

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Chicken Cacciatore

For dinner tonight I decided to try a new recipe for Chicken Cacciatore, courtesy of the folks over at, a fantastic website.

This recipes differs quite a bit from my moms recipe from her old Panasonic cookbook, the recipe bible in my house growing up. That recipe used 3 different kinds of chopped tomatoes and canned mushrooms. It was always slightly sweet and always delicious.

This new recipe called for Red Wine, Portabello mushrooms and only one can of chopped tomatoes.

I don't get on with red wine in my cooking very well, though so far I have only made a gravy with it, the red wine turned it purply and created a very strong, unpleasant taste, thus far noone has liked it. So, I'm wary of cooking with red wine.

First I browned the Chicken thighs in about 3 tablespoons oil. This worked very well, 5 minutes on each side, with a very minimal amount of sticking. When it came time to peel the cooked skins off the chicken, they came right off, no problem.

I sauteed the onion and mushroom in a bit more oil then it specified, as I normally use a bit more oil. In this case it seemed to be a mistake as the oil didn't cook away and when I should have had nicely browned veggies with just a smidge of oil left, I had sopping wet veg in a pool of oil. I drained them the best I could and when I added the flour, gave it a bit longer to cook, but that didnt seem to help.

Upon adding the wine the whole mixture just turned gloppy and purple... Adding the chicken broth seemed to help slightly, and again when I added another 1/2 cup of water.

After 45 minutes of simmering it smelled delicious, and the terrible wine order that I experienced with the gravey was not present.

That evening I was able to try some, I made some spaghetti and mixed it all together. I was actually quite surprised by how good it is. It wasn't delicious, and I didnt want any more. But it WAS good. I split the leftovers with the baby for lunch the next day, and we both quite enjoyed it. His was pureed, of course.

Will definetly make this again, but I may experiment a bit with it....

8 bone in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion , chopped
6 ounces portobello mushroom caps (about 3 medium), wiped clean and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 medium cloves garlic , minced
1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind (2 inches, about 1 ounce), optional
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage leaves

If you can get hold of a Parmesan cheese rind, it adds lavish flavor to the sauce.

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add four chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook, not moving them until skin is crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes; using tongs, flip chicken and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer browned chicken to large plate; brown remaining chicken thighs, transfer to plate, and set aside.

2. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot. Add onion, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until moisture evaporates and vegetables begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, remove and discard skin from browned chicken thighs. Add garlic to pot and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add wine, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen brown bits. Stir in stock, tomatoes, thyme, cheese rind (if using), 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit salt if using cheese rind), and pepper to taste. Submerge chicken pieces in liquid and bring to boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes, turning chicken pieces with tongs halfway through cooking. Discard cheese rind, stir in sage, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, and serve


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