winner winner chicken dinner!
jake and sam come to dinner on wednesday nights.. so this week i made chicken cacciatore.. not sure why but i haven't made it years.. like 20 or more.. jake declared it "the best meal i've ever made" and a meal he would pay $15.00 for in a restaurant. haha.. funny kid.. but anyway.. if i do say so myself it was pretty darn good.. the way i approach a recipe is i look through my cook books, magazines and the internet.. i then pick anywhere from 2 different recipes to 10.. i then take the parts/ingredients/steps i like out of each one and create my own.. i basically get the concept of the dish, the basic ingredients and i then do it my way.. which this time it turned out great but i have as many failures in my dishes as i do successes..
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- 1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (we prefer dark meat but breasts are fine too)
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 turns around the pan with extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped (i actually didn't have one but i had the small roasting peppers so i used a handful of those and diced them up)
- 1 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 12 ounces sliced mushrooms (white or crimini)
- 1/2 cup beef broth or stock (yes beef not chicken it works very well with the mushrooms and gives it that cooked all day taste)
- 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- fresh thyme
- 1 pound pasta or egg noodles (we used fettuccine)
- grated parmesan or ramano cheese (optional)
preheat your oven to 375 degrees (f). salt and pepper both sides of your chicken. heat olive oil in a dutch oven (or other oven proof skillet) on the stove over medium-high heat, brown chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side. transfer chicken to a plate and set aside. add bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. add mushrooms and season with salt (salt will draw out their liquid) and saute for another 5 minutes or until mushrooms are dark, tender and have given off their juices. add 1/2 cup of beef broth simmer for about 3 minutes scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the bits and pieces off (those are the yummy parts) then stir in tomatoes, pepper, parsley and thyme. Stir for about 2-3 minutes then add chicken back in and cover and put in the oven for 30 minutes, remove lid and cook another 15 minutes. while the chicken is in the oven cook your pasta or noodles according to package directions then put in a big serving bowl. when chicken is done remove pan from oven.. then remove chicken and veggies using a slotted spoon from pot and place in your serving bowl over pasta. return pot with the sauce in it to stove and turn heat to medium-high. cook and reduce sauce for a couple of minutes until it thickens. if any excess fat (which is likely if you use thighs) spoon from atop the sauce and discard. spoon or pour sauce over the chicken, veggies and pasta and sprinkle with parsley and cheese if desired.. would go wonderful with crusty bread..