Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore Stew

When it's flippin' freezing outside, nothing is better than a rich, savory stew. I was gonna make a glorious Belgian Beer Braised stew I just discovered but, if you can believe it, we were out of beer. Hmmmm.... so, after a quick search on Simply Recipes Food and Cooking Blog ( a great resource for amazing recipes), I found Chicken Cacciatore. Same ingredients as the Belgian Beer stew except you swap wine for beer and tomatoes for broth. I can handle that. I'm all about swapping things in my recipes. Allegedly, this hunters dish was originally intended to be made with game, but evolved into a chicken dish when Italian wives still had to make dinner when their hubby's came home empty handed.

Since I was feeling stew, I mixed things up a bit further to make it less of a meat entree and more of a one pot meal. I love the rustic quality of this's so textural and full of interest. The great thing is, you can totally add in whatever vegetables you may have and it will still be awesome.

So, without further ado:

Chicken Cacciatore Stew ( Adapted from Simply Recipes, which was adapted from Food and Wine) * My changes noted in orange!

One 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into pieces ( I used 4 chicken thighs, with bone skin on)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups peeled and chopped, firm ripe tomatoes (or canned plum tomatoes in their juice) I used a can of diced tomatoes that didn't quite reach 2 cups so I added broth to make up the difference. BEEF broth... no need to get all matchy matchy...use what you have!)
3 small bay leaves for added fun.

Method to the madness:

1 Rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Push the onions to the side. Add the garlic and chicken pieces, skin-side down. Cook until the chicken skin is golden brown, then turn pieces over and brown on the other side. (Ummm, apparently I don't know how to do this. All of my skin stuck. It made for nice brown bits in my new dutch oven! Thanks Mom!)

2 Season chicken with salt and pepper, on both sides. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes (and broth! Oh, the bay leaves, too!), lower the heat and cover the skillet with the lid slightly ajar.

3 Cook the chicken in the simmering liquid, turning and basting from time to time. Cook until the thighs are very tender and the meat is almost falling off the bones, about 40 minutes. If the stew ever starts to dry out, add a couple tablespoons of water.

4. Remove chicken and shred meat off the bone. Discard bones in a way that your cat won't sniff them out because they secretly want to be dogs. Return shredded wonder to pot.

Serves 4-6 ( My version served two with leftovers)

WAIT! Hold the phone! I'm not quite done. You see, I wanted to use up some new potatoes but didn't want them to get all soggy and starchy in the stew. So, I quartered them, and coated them in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, rosemary, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and paprika ( special color trick.) 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Serve with stew. They were amazing in there.

Aubrey's comments: " Add this to the circuit!" Will do, love. Will do.

1 comment:

Natasha said...

Tasty and easy, huh? AND pretty? Wow. I gotta try.