Saturday, April 25, 2009

Uncle Thomas' Chicken Cacciatore

Honestly, I've yet to make this for MY family, but Uncle Tommy makes it for his all the time and it's a bonafide hit. This is his recipe straight from him. He is one of those natural cooks, so he uses hardly any measurements. I will add them in along with notes on what he means by fancy cooking words like "deglaze" and "other seasonings"

You Need:
Olive Oil & Butter (maybe 2tsp of each)
Chicken (a couple lbs cut up, bone in, skin on or off)
Flour (about a quarter to half cup)
Pepper & other seasonings (about 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper and maybe 1/4 tsp of anything else you add)

Note from Jessica: By "other seasonings" I think he means, and I would suggest, using salt, garlic powder, maybe sweet paprika, maybe parsley, thyme, sage. This is mixing in with the flour to make what will be the crust on the chicken. Think like KFC...11 herbs and spices...

Garlic (about 2tsp, minced)
one Red Pepper (seeded & sliced)
one medium Onion (sliced)
(mushrooms, sliced, about four ounces, if you like them, they are NOT in Thomas' recipe)
Tomato Paste (about 1.5 Tbsp or so)
Chicken Stock, white wine or water (1/4 cup or less)
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (any flavor, I like fire roasted)
Oregano & other seasonings

Note from Jessica: HERE by "other seasonings" he means your standard italian seasonings like basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. Whatever you like or would normally put in spaghetti sauce. About a tsp or so of anything, or to taste.

Melt butter & olive oil in big, deep fry pan.
Dredge chicken in seasoned flour & brown in butter oil mixture for couple of minutes per side.
Remove chicken from pan and keep warm, add garlic, onion & red pepper to pan. Saute then add tomato paste & fry that up until onions & peppers start to get soft. About five minutes.
Deglaze (see below) pan with liquid of choice, add 2 cans diced tomatoes.
Bring to a bubble then lower to minimal heat. Return chicken to pan and cook over low heat for about 20-30 minutes.
Taste & season sauce to your liking. The meat should almost fall off bone. If you don't like the chunks of veggies in your sauce, blend with a stick blender, food processor or blender. Blending will also thicken sauce. Serve over favorite pasta. You should have a good amount of tasty sauce left over.

Note from Thomas: If you use boneless chicken, cook veggies longer before you add the chicken & reduce cooking time of chicken. This recipe is really meant for less expensive chicken on the bone like thighs, legs, etc. It's a great way to get all the flavor and value out of those cheaper cuts.

Deglaze: Deglazing is a cooking technique for removing bits of food from a pan in order to make a sauce with them. Usually, the meat is removed from the pan. The pan is returned to the heat, and a liquid is added to act as a solvent. This liquid can be plain water, vegetable or meat stock, a spirit, some wine or any other liquid. This allows the cook to scrape the dark spots from the bottom of the pan, and dissolve them creating a rich sauce.

1 comment:

  1. OK, I made this tonight and it was fantastic!
    This is definitely a great way to use the cheaper cuts of chicken. I ended up buying a 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters (drumsticks and thighs, not separated) for about $11. That's a crazy good deal. I used four pieces, so the 10 pound bag is enough to make this meal twice at least. Plus, the chicken simmers long enough that it's ridiculously easy to just pull off the bone....

    Another great way to stretch the food budget!