Sunday, August 21, 2005

Chicken Cacciatore

According to GL, he feels that I am a very excitable person...small things in life induces some level of euphoria in me! He is pretty spot on. The possession of my new cookbooks does that to me. Immediately after I got home with my new purchase, I sat on my comfy couch and went through the recipes starting with Delia's.

It's been a while since I cooked a chicken dish (im more of a red meat person) and since I have a whole chicken in the freezer, I pulled it out and allowed it to defrost and decided on a dish I have never tried, the Chicken Cacciatore. Cacciatore (pronounced as "kah-chuh-TOR-ee") in Italian means Hunter Style, this style is apparently popular throughout Italy. It refers to food prepared with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, various herbs and sometimes wine. It's rich, flavoursome and to me, can easily make it to my list of comfort food especially when served on a bed of pasta.


Chicken Cacciatore served with Spaghetti & grated Parmesan

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 big onions, cut into big slices
700g tomatoes (about 6-7 regular sized tomatoes)
2 garlic, chopped
4tbsp tomato puree
3 springs rosemary, just the leaves and slighly rub between hands to release fragrance
1 bay leaf (i ran out of Bay leaves, i used 2 big basil leaves instead)
275ml White Wine
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt
gound black pepper

Method:

Marinate chicken with salt & pepper for a few hours
Heat saucepan, add olive oil and brown chicken pieces in 2 batches. Make sure that all chicken pieces are nicely golden brown. Put aside.
In the same pan, add in onions and turn heat down to low and allow onioins to sweat and slowly soften and brown, takes about 8min.
While onions are browning, boil some water for the tomatoes. Lightly score the tomatoes top to bottom for easy removal of skin. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and allow it to soak for about 1 min. Peel off skin and cut into small cubes.
Add in garlic , tomatoes, tomato puree, rosemary, bay leaf/Basil leaves, white wine and white wine vinegar. Boil on low heat uncovered for about 15-20min or until it reduces to about half.
Add the chicken back into pan and simmer covered with lid this time under low heat for about 40min.
If you are serving with Pasta, make sure its not too dry as the sauce will serve as a base for the pasta.
Taste and season if necessary.

To cook pasta:
Ensure you add salt and olive oil in water before putting pasta in. Depending on thickness of pasta, usually for linguine or spaghetti, it takes no more than 8-9min for al dente.

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