Have you ever heard of a “Spoonerism?” It’s like calling seat warmers in the car “heat-seaters” instead of “seat-heaters.” Or calling “New York,” “Yew Nork.” For some reason, I am a woman full of Spoonerisms. Maybe it is the concussion I got in 1998? Perhaps it is my creative mind… I dunno. While it is not a true Spoonerism, when I am trying to spit out “Chicken Cacciatore” I am lucky if I get the words out properly. I like to make Kitchen Tacciatore (aka Chicken Cacciatore) a few different ways. What I have found on my *perfect* recipe hunt is that everyone has their own “take” on this delectable dish.
The recipe I am sharing today is directly from my favorite soup cookbook. The second recipe I like to make belongs to my dearly departed mother-in-law. As completely and utterly delicious as it is – her recipe could not be any more different than the one I am posting below! Since I don’t really have permission to blab about her recipe, I am sharing the one from this book. That being said, the note on my MIL’s recipe card says “You really can’t cook this too long.” Which means to me that I can prepare it in the afternoon, and stick it in the warming oven until the meat is practically falling apart.
What you’ll need from the market:
Simple breading for the Chicken Breasts
1/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (plus more to taste)
You’ll need chicken. The recipe calls for 3.5-4lbs meaty chicken “parts” *ie: legs, thighs, breasts* but this girl prefers breasts. I use 3 packages of cleaned and trimmed chicken breast.
Other ingredients: Please note that I like to double the sauce ingredients – I double everything but the whole tomatoes. The quantities listed are for one single batch of sauce.
2 Tablespoons olive oil (plus more if needed)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
8 ounces of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes *I like Muir Glen Organic because they don’t put BPA in the lining*
1 can (16 ounces) of tomato sauce *I’m a fan of Barely Bolognese by Scarpetta, also BPA free*
2 cloves garlic, minced (I use about two heaping teaspoons out of my handy jar of minced garlic)
1/4 cup of white wine
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1/4 teaspoon of dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
Extra fixin’s to finish it off:
One package of spaghetti noodles
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Directions for preparation:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
On a large sheet of wax paper, mix together flour, salt and pepper. Roll the chicken pieces in the mixture to coat evenly. (You could also place it in a Ziplock bag, shake ‘n’ bake style. I like to do it that way because it is far less messy.)
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken once the oil is hot. Brown each piece, about 5 minutes on each side. You may need to do this portion of the recipe in batches. Brown as many pieces that fit within the pan. Set aside on a platter. Repeat until you’ve browned every piece.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the pan and sauté for about 3 minutes. *Remember the trick to aid in cooking onions: sprinkle with a little salt!* You can also add a bit more oil if needed. Add mushrooms and cook until they are just beginning to give off their juices. First, they will absorb all the liquid in the pan, then they will relax. It should take 3-5 minutes for the process to come full circle. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to the platter with the chicken.
To the Dutch oven, add tomatoes and their juice. Tomato sauce, garlic, wine, parsley, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Add any remaining flour to the mixture. Stir a few minutes to blend. Return the chicken, onions and mushrooms to the Dutch oven.