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Chicken Cacciatore

25 Feb

Friday nights are chicken nights, and we all love chicken! This week, we bought a brand new six piece Baccarat cookware set, and I’ve been itching to use the stove to oven sauté pan since I got it. I decided to do my spin on Chicken Cacciatore and take advantage of this one pot cooking style that I have been dreaming of. The results were mouth watering delicious, but had a very painful twist.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Chicken

1kg free ranged chicken pieces
1 red capcicum
1 zuchinii
1 large onion
1 can tomatoes
¾ cup white wine
6- 10 olives
½ cup flour
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tumeric
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Splash of olive oil

Polenta

2 cups water
½ cup polenta
2 tablespoons butter
salt to taste

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Chop all the vegetables into large bite size pieces and set aside. Remove any excess fat from the chicken before giving it a good season with salt, pepper and a little tumeric. Coat the seasoned chicken into flour (Photo 1).

2. Bring a sauté pan up to a hot temperature and warm the oil. Add the chicken and brown off. Remove from pan and set aside (Photo 2 above)

3. Using the left over chicken juices and oil, begin to sauté the onions with the garlic, thyme, parsley and left over turmeric. Once onions are opaque, add the remaining vegetables, and ensure they are coated in the juice and herb mixture (Photo 3 above). Add the wine and cook at a high simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes, olives and bay leaves to the pan before returning the chicken. Don’t worry about submerging the chicken all the way into the vegetable and liquid mixture as the crispy tops add a lovely texture to the dish (Photo 4  below). Place pan lid on into the oven and cook at 220°C for 20 minutes.

5. Check that the liquid hasn’t reduced too much, and top up with warm water if needed (Photo 5). Reduce heat to 150°C and cook for a further half hour until sauce is reduced and vegetables are cooked (Photo 6 above). This will allow the flavours to develop. For those who enjoy a richer sauce, remove the meat and vegetables from the pan and reduce the sauce into a thicker gravy.

6. To make the polenta, bring the salted water to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to lowest setting and slowly pour the polenta into the water in a slow steady stream. Whisk constantly to ensure the polenta grain is distributed evenly and totally absorbed into the water. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Bring to a slow simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently (photo below). Serve when grain texture is smooth and tender.

Observations

  • This meal is a hearty delicious meal that tastes of heaven. I really enjoy it when ever I make it. I add different vegetables at different times for a slightly different feel, but the tomatoes, olives and capsicums are a must! Traditionally, mushrooms would be used instead of the zuchini but I am allergic to mushies so this is my substitute.
  • I am not sure that the polenta is traditionally served with a meal like this, but I adore the texture of it as it firms up. The salty sweet taste of if adds something magical to this dish.
  • Diabetic Note: For diabetics, I am unable to give you a good indicator as to how my BGL’s reacted to this as my BGL’s were sky high due to the burn (below). Ahh shock and stress… how you played havoc on my bloods last night. Anyway, carb content for the chicken portion of the meal is very low. I added the polenta to boost it a little for my insulin intake. Polenta is quite high in carbohydrates so don’t overdo the serves; less is better. Also, because the chicken is cooked skin on, there are a fair amount of fats in this dish, so keep the oil to a minimum when browning off the chicken / sautéing the veggies.
  • I have a cautionary tale to tell, dear readers. When I removed the sauté pan from the oven half way through the cooking time to check the contents, I forgot to put my oven mitt back on when putting the pan back into the oven. The metal was exceedingly hot, and I received some exceptionally nasty burns to my hand for my trouble. It is probably my inexperience showing as I am so use to the one pot cooking style. At any rate, my error hurt quite a bit. Thank you to Brittany for helping finish off the dinner, making the polenta, plating up and taking all the pictures.

Post note:

I really didn’t get to enjoy my dinner because of my burnt hand, but I sure did enjoy the left over sauce with toast the next day for lunch, and I think it tasted even better than it did the night before! nom nom nom

Its a few days later now and my hand is fine thanks to some tender loving care from Joe.

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2 responses to “Chicken Cacciatore

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