Monday, November 24, 2008
One of the Kitchen Genius’s favorite meals is chicken cacciatore. He likes it best made with chicken on the bone because it’s so much juicier and that Sicilian man just loves to suck on bones.
The first time I watched him eat this dish was at the now closed Lo Cicero’s Restaurant in Orleans. I literally stared and occasionally winced as he chomped on crunchy things I would never consider eating. It was like watching a lion at the zoo.
The kids look like him, but take after me. Seriously, the rest of us eat our chicken and leave a pile on our plate with enough goodness still on them to make a decent stock. KG’s plate has just a smattering of BARE bones.
One year he requested this dish for his birthday dinner. It took me hours to make it and I wasn’t happy enough with the results to ever make it again – accept for that whole husband’s favorite dish thing. I have a well-known tendency to overcook chicken and I certainly did so in that case.
Since then chicken cacciatore has become the Kitchen Genius’s area of expertise and he pulls it off splendidly. He has thought about it, read about it, and experimented with it until it is pure perfection.
His best tips: use only chicken thighs, saute the chicken in small batches over medium high heat to ensure a nice brown skin, and then nestle the chicken in the tomato sauce in a baking dish with the skin exposed so the meat can soak up all that yummy flavor from the sauce, but the skin will still be crispy.
And that's why I call him the Kitchen Genius. Buon Appetito!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
12 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, julienne sliced
1 large green pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced with knife
1 cup white wine
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh ground Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Rinse chicken, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Put olive oil in a large sauté pan and heat pan over medium high heat. Cook chicken skin side down in small batches until browned. Remove from pan and reserve.
Add onions, peppers and garlic to pan and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine and stir to deglaze pan. Cook for two minutes then add tomatoes and seasonings.
Pour tomato mixture into a 13 by 9 baking dish. Nestle chicken in sauce, leaving skin exposed to crisp up. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Serve over pasta of your choice with bread and a salad.
For a printable recipe click here