Monday, May 21, 2012
So technically, this is Pollo alla Cacciatora or Chicken as the Hunter likes it. But... I call it Kitchen Cacciatora because really you can put anything you have in your kitchen in this. My recipe changes often depending on the left over ingredients of my fridge. The heady herbs and thick tomato sauce can bring new life to any leftovers. Since my in-laws will be dinning with us tonight, I have decided not to use leftovers and instead to buy proper chicken.
I'm using skinless boneless chicken thighs, because they cook up faster, they are easy to eat, and they have enough fattyness to keep the meat moist and delicious. You could put this on low in a crock pot while you are at work, but I am happy to plunk everything into a dutch oven and let it bubble for 20 minutes. Then put it in a low oven until you are ready to eat. My husband who runs our dinner preparation with the military precision of a swiss watch, is not a happy camper if dinner is cold.
You can serve it with rice, pasta, or crusty bread. Tonight for us, oriechette. Which is a type of pasta named because it looks like baby ears. I like shape becuase it holds on to the sauce like little edible bowls. But when we had it as left overs (above) I served it with sauteed kale and sorrell and a wild rice mix. I think I liked the pasta better. And my 10 month old son certainly liked it with pasta better also. I hope you enjoy.
Here is how you make it:
What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 a large spanish onion diced
1 carrot diced
2 ribs of celery diced
3 smashed and minced garlic cloves
2 sprigs finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 and 1/2 pounds chicken thigh (i don't bother to cut them)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup any wine you have open
2 bay leaves
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes (if you use the whole tomatoes squish them with your fingers first)
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
pepper to taste
chopped parsely for serving
What you do.
1. Set aside a large dutch oven or safe crock pot you will be using this to catch the deliciousness as you build flavor.
2. Heat a large skillet add the oil, and the chopped veggetables until translucent. Add the garlic last so it doesn't burn. The minute you smell it, it is done. Reserve in your dutch oven.
3. With out cleaning the skillet, heat up the pancetta until crispy. Pour into dutch oven.
4. Same skillet, brown up the chicken a few pieces at a time so they don't steam. You just want the brown on the outside, not cooked. Reserve in the dutch oven.
5. Same skillet with all the yum drippings, add the chopped rosemary, celery salt, some cracked pepper, and bay leaves. Fry for a minute than deglaze with the wine. Add everything to the pot.
4. Pour in the tomatoes and half a can's worth of water over top of everything in the pot.
5. Add the sugar.
6. Now if you are using a crock pot, but on high and let simmer for 1 hr or on low for 3hrs ... If you are using a dutch oven. Set on a medium burner and let simmer for 25 minutes. After that you can put it in a 200F oven so that it will keep warm until you are ready.
7. Mange! Buon appetito!
Serve with pasta, rice, or bread, even polenta would be lovely. I had this with caprise salad and gelato for desert.
As always, much love, many blessings, and happy cooking.
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