Major yumminess in a pan: Chicken Cacciatore.
So what do you do when you have a boatload of bell peppers and leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving?
You make Chicken Cacciatore, of course.
Well, maybe you don’t actually do this, but I do.
The Jersey Girl shakes her groove thang while cooking. And
yes, those are hot pink velour hoodie and pants that you see.
The Jersey Girl did not realize she would be part of the photo op.
Most people would probably just throw out the leftovers, but I try my darnedest to not ditch uneaten food. It makes me cringe. Tossing out eats brings on my Catholic guilt – big time.
Chicken Cacciatore is way fab. Also known as Hunter Style Chicken, it is made with a whole chicken cut into parts. It also includes onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, white wine and often mushrooms. But Mr. Jersey Girl in the Kitchen does not groove on mushrooms, so mine is sans shrooms. My dish includes tons of basil and crushed red pepper, because we like it spicy in my house.
Chicken Cacciatore originated in central Italy. It has many variations. Lidia Bastianich has one in which she makes it with rabbit (I'm pronouncing this as "wabbit" in my head right now.)
You may serve Chicken Cacciatore with your fav rice or pasta. But, I served it with an amazingly awesome
baked mashed potato dish from Giada De Laurentiis. I make it for Turkey Day every year. We were a light crowd this year, so there were plenty of leftovers.
Four to Six Servings
1 whole chicken, cut into parts with skin, or 1 lb. of your favorite chicken parts. (You may use all breasts or thighs. Make sure the meat is still on the bone)
2 cups sliced red or green bell peppers, or a mix. (I like to use both)
1 large onion, sliced
3 big cloves garlic, sliced
¾ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ cup white wine
1 28 ounce can Cento chef’s cut tomatoes
¾ chicken stock
2 Tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh basil, torn
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Lightly brown chicken parts on both sides for about five minutes per side. You may need to do this in batches if all the chicken does not fit.
Remove chicken from pan.
Return pan to heat. Saute peppers and onions for five to six minutes. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano. Add garlic slices. Saute for two or three more minutes. Peppers and onions should be soft and glistening.
Add white wine. Deglaze the pan by scraping up the bits on the bottom with a flat-edge wooden spoon. Once wine reduces, add tomatoes and broth. Bring sauce up to a simmer. Add capers and basil.
Return chicken to pan. Cover with lid and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.