Ugh, when I googled cacciatore to find its Wikipedia article, I discovered that The Pioneer Woman has posted a recipe for chicken cacciatore. It involves not only wine but also butter! Why do I even bother? You should probably desert this page and go use her recipe.
Unless, of course, you are a classy and refined human being and do not like bell peppers. Because, for some reason, all recipes for cacciatore involve bell peppers.
Why would anyone ever want to ruin perfectly good food with bell peppers, of all revolting things? Blech.
Dear friends, I am here to assure you: you can make a sublime chicken cacciatore sans bell peppers. Without even a trace of those nasty little creatures that are worshiped by tastebudless rubes everywhere.
Not that I feel strongly about the issue or anything.
Actually, mostly I'm still upset that I missed an opportunity to put wine in a dish. Tragic, really.
On to the recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in a large skillet.
|In case you forgot what that looks like.|
Cook chicken on medium high heat for four minutes on each side until browned.
|Ideally a little browner than that.|
Remove chicken and keep warm. I advise you to set it in the dish you're about to bake it in, kept on top of the preheating oven. That's warm enough.
Dump 1 cup chopped onion, about three stalks chopped celery, 1 tsp. marjoram (or rosemary, if you prefer--traditional, but the DDH hates it), 4 cloves garlic, minced, and some salt into skillet. Cook for three minutes or until beginning to soften, stirring frequently.
|Wouldn't hurt to add more celery.|
Add 8 oz. sliced mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce (aka one can). The recipe I was adapting recommends jarred marinara sauce of all things, but loves, I simply don't believe in jarred marinara sauce when you can get cans of plain tomato sauce and have a fully-stocked spice cabinet. Here's my marinara sauce:
|Spices in sauce.|
Anyway, where were we? Yes. So add that in and cook for a minute, stirring to make sure everything gets mixed together well.
|The smaller pan.|
Nestle your browned chicken on top of the vegetable mixture.
|Doesn't really look that different.|
Cut into the fat part of the drumstick to check or you will spend the entirety of dinner puzzling over bits of chicken going, "Does that look cooked to you? I don't know if it's cooked all the way. It's pretty red. But I mean the texture is right. I'm sure it's fine. Yes it's fine. Though I don't know...it's sort of pink right there. Is it cooked all the way?" because you skimped on cooking time and cut into what apparently was a thinner part of the chicken than you thought. On the other hand, maybe someone will finally buy you that new meat thermometer for your birthday or maybe even sooner not that that's a hint or anything.
Sprinkle with pecorino romano or parmesan cheese.
|Do not neglect this step.|
I wish I had made five times as much of the sauce and canned it so I could keep that flavor forever, because here is the problem with making up cooking as you go along: it never turns out the same way twice. Shocking revelation, I know.
But I have people profess profound admiration for me because I can just toss ingredients together, experiment and fudge around with them without measuring every pinch. This is in fact a nifty skill, namely because it cuts down on the number of measuring spoons I have to wash, but the downside is that nothing. ever. turns. out. the same way. twice. EVER. Perhaps the madskillz of not measuring AND replicating recipes will come with age (my mother seems to be good at this, though she is only thirty). In the meantime, here we are.
|Tastes much, much better than it looks.|