Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

I've always been reluctant to make chicken cacciatore. It could be because the recipes that I had seen for the dish just seemed to sound like they would taste like chicken and tomatoes. But when I saw Giada make this recipe on Everyday Italian with capers and white wine, I was sold!
I modified the recipe because I forgot to pick up white wine (and it was great without it so that's what the recipe will reflect). Also, instead of using two chicken thighs and two chicken breasts, I just picked up a package of whole cut-up chicken instead.

Chicken Cacciatore
One whole cut-up chicken (leave out the wings), skin trimmed a bit
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2
tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute till browned (5 min each side)
Remove chicken from the pan and transfer to a plate.

In the same pan, add bell pepper, onion and garlic and saute over medium heat till the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, capers, broth, and lemon juice.
Add chicken back to the pan and simmer (uncovered) over medium heat for 25-30 minutes.
If the sauce is not thick enough for you, remove the chicken after it's cooked and simmer the sauce for another 5 minutes.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with basil.

I had mine with two slices of Italian bread, toasted and topped with tapenade, but I made orzo for everyone else, and drizzled a little bit of olive oil and about a tsp of lemon juice to add flavor to the pasta.

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