Hunting for Chicken CacciatorePosted: November 14, 2011
So, I eat a lot of chicken. Like, at least 4 times a week. But I can’t help it. I really like chicken. It’s usually super easy to make, and can be prepared in hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of ways. Like cooked in a chunky sauce loaded with vegetables.
If you don’t know chicken cacciatore, it’s time you did. It’s a classic Italian dish, sort of a rustic stew if you will, made with tomatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, wine and either chicken or rabbit. Cacciatore is Italian for hunter, and you can almost picture a hunter returning from the hunt with his fresh game, tossing it into a giant pot with a ton of veggies, pouring in some wine, and then letting everything simmer away until it’s all soft and tender and incredibly flavorful.
That’s basically what happens here, except I added some heat by way of cracked red pepper and chili garlic sauce. (Yes, I know chili garlic sauce is typically an ingredient in Asian foods, but just go with it.)
Spicy Chicken Cacciatore
– 1 to 1 ¼ lbs of thinly sliced chicken cutlets, cleaned, dried & cut in half
– ½ cup of flour
– ½ of a large yellow onion, diced
– 1 cup of white mushrooms, roughly chopped
– 2 celery stalks, diced
– 2 carrots, peeled & diced
– 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
– 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano, chopped
– 2 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes
– ½ cup of red wine
– 2 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper
– Cracked red pepper
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and ¼ teaspoon of cracked red pepper. Lightly coat the chicken pieces with the flour mixture.
In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat a little oil on medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. When nearly melted, add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it gets too dry, add a splash of oil or extra butter. Add the diced tomatoes, the wine and the chili garlic sauce. I added 2 teaspoons, but you can add more or less depending on how hot you want the sauce. Stir in the chopped oregano and bring to a low boil. Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Turn the chicken pieces every 10 minutes while cooking. Serve over linguine or your favorite pasta, and eat!
Don’t you love the way the chicken nestles into the sauce? It’s so chunky and rich. Each vegetable offers a different flavor and texture. I think some red or green peppers would pretty great in there, too. And my Asian fusion part — the chili garlic sauce — really does give it a nice, spicy kick. My mouth was a little tingly. And my stomach was very, very happy.