Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chicken Cacciatore

I live this stuff, my kids actually eat it without grumbling, but whats not to like....chicken.  Red Sauce.  Cheese.  Its all there with some extras that Mom and I like....mushrooms to be specific.

Cacciatore literally means "hunter" and its usually a bird or rabbit the hunter caught and is braised in tomato sauce with the herbs of the woods.  Its really stupid easy cookery too. If you can brown and simmer you can do this.

I use chicken breasts as I can get them dirt cheap at Costco, you can easily sub out thighs and legs and it would be as tasty. Since this is a braise even white meat like the breasts stay moist.

For the mushrooms I go for the cremini or "baby 'bella's"as they are sometimes sold as here in the L.A area. They have a deeper flavor than a button mushroom, but if you can't find them feel free to sub in the easily found button mushroom.

Chicken Cacciatore

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 T chopped fresh sage
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms - sliced
  • 2 T dry sherry
  • 1 c shredded mozarella cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Olive Oil

In a heavy skillet light coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil (about 2 T).  Salt and pepper the dry chicken.  Sear the chicken in the hot oil until browned, about 5 minutes.  Flip and sear the other side.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

Add onion to pan and cook to translucent. Add rosemary and sage.  Add mushrooms and cook until they start to brown stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.  Add sherry to deglaze pan, scraping up any browned bits.

Add tomotoes and tomatoe sauce. Stir to combine.  Test for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Nestle the chicken pieces in the sauce.  Add any chicken juices that collected in the platter into the sauce.  Cover, bring to boil and reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 25 minutes.

At end of simmer time remove lid and divide the mozarella evenly and sprinkle on top of the chicken pieces.  Simmer additional 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Serve the sauce over cooked pasta with additional cheese on top and the cheesey chicken breast on the side.

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