Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

I had some boneless chicken thighs that needed to be cooked up.... was thinking hmmmm...what to do with them?  Stir making that this weekend along with homemade egg rolls, stuffed chicken thighs.. no didn't sound good,  shish ka-bobs nope like those on the grill (**note to self get some gas for the grill so that you can actually use it!!!)  I got it something Italian... like Cacciatore...  which is just chicken, cooked with vegetables and tomatoes & wine into like a chicken stew.  You can serve this over pasta (which I did, or rice, coucous etc.) anything goes.... make whatever you like :)  that is what is great about cooking... cook and serve what you makes dinner so much more enjoyable.  I also serve this with warmed crusty bread to sop up the yummy juices (don't want to waste a drop of this :) 
I used dried herbs but you can also use fresh (again use what you have) If I do have fresh, I save a couple of tablespoonfuls of chopped parsley to put over the cooked dish. 
Also I made this with boneless chicken thighs, but you can use chicken breasts, boneless chicken tenderloins or a whole cut up chicken ( for the whole cut up chicken I would probably reduce the cooking time, you want the meat tender almost falling off the bone but not quite to that stage if you are using bone in chicken, cause you don't want bone fragments in your dish)...NOT a good thing....


Chicken Cacciatore

1 pkg. boneless skinless chicken thighs, (my pkg had 6 thighs)
1/2 green & red pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, chopped (I used baby or can use one big carrot,chopped)
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and cut in half
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained (or can use fresh sliced as well)
1-2 tablespoons granulated beef base (or buillon, or 1 can beef stock instead of the water)
1 1/2 cups water
1 small can tomato paste
1 tbl. Worchester sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbls oil
Pasta or rice (cooked)
bread (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

To season the chicken I used seasoned salt & garlic salt (a little of both), italian seasoning, pepper & a little paprika
To season the dish I used (1 bay leaf, crushed red pepper flakes, pinch of rosemary, pinch of thyme, Italian seasoning, parsley flakes, paprika & a pinch of salt)

In very large skillet with deep sides place oil over medium high heat.  Add both red & green peppers, onion, carrot & celery season with salt & pepper.  Let vegetables cook for a couple of minutes then add smashed garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Season chicken on both sides, move vegetables around so that you can add chicken to the pan to brown.  Cook and brown chicken on both sides for 5-10 minutes.  In large pyrex measuring cup, add tomato paste & buillon  whisk together(if you have stock whisk tomato paste and stock together), add seasonings of your choice, brown sugar, diced tomatoes & worchester sauce.  Pour wine over browned chicken stirring and deglazing the pan.  Pour tomato mixture over top of chicken stirring slightly until chicken and vegetables are covered.  Bring mixture up to a rolling simmer stirring occasionally, turn heat down to low place a lid on pan and simmer for 1-2  hours or until meat is falling apart and sauce is thickened.  I usually during the last 30 minutes of cooking (which is the time I cook mypasta) take the lid off to thicken the sauce.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings if necessary.  Serve over cooked pasta or rice, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with bread.  Enjoy

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