Wednesday Food: That's Cacciatore!

At Casa de Stella, we are finishing up whats left of our wintery cuisine. I personally like winter food, I'm a big fan of stews and soups. BUT, before we get into the food, let's talk about cast iron pans.



  •  We got ours cheap at Walmart, you don't have to spend tons of money
  • Don't get one with rubber or weird stuff on the handle, you won't be able to put it in the oven. (Which is one of the best things you can do with a cast iron!)
  • A seasoned pan will *make* your food! Some may have a hard time NOT washing the pan but think of it this way, your sanitizing the pan with heat. The pan I'm holding has been with us for 5 years, doesn't look dirty does it??
  • Cast iron hold temperature very very well!
Alright, lets get to the cooking! Cacciatore is an Italian dish (meaning Hunter), that we did NOT grow up with. I came across this recipe in Gourmet magazine and was amazed that I'd never made this dish before! It combines my most favorite things.....pasta, chicken and tomatoes. (yes, I'm that simple) Let's get to it!

Serves 4 or 2 with leftovers for the next workday - Time: about 1 hr (prep time and cook time)

4 chicken thighs (cheaper and more flavor w/ the bone, but feel free to you use breast)
1 onion, sliced
1 pepper, sliced
4-6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
about 1/2 c. of either red or white wine (Tastes good both ways)
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (Cento is my brand of choice)
1 pound of pasta (whatever style you like)
Olive oil, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Season your chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
2) Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Heat your pan good and HOT! Not so hot that the pan is smoking but you wanna hear that sizzle when you add the chicken. Getting the pan hot will sanitize it, the oil won't soak into the chicken and food won't stick as easily.
3) Saute the chicken till brown on both sides. (about 10 minutes per side) You don't need to cook it all the way yet. When its done you can remove it from the pan and set it aside.

 
 4) While the chicken was cooking, veggies can be prepped (chopping and slicing). Once the chicken is done add them to the pan. Saute for about 7-8 minutes. This is a good time to start your water boiling for pasta!


 
 5) At this point it goes pretty quick. Pour the wine in the pan to deglaze, stir to scrape up the carmelized, tasty bits on the bottom of the pan. Let that cook for a few minutes then add the tomatoes. Stir and let it heat through and then place the chicken in the pan to finish cooking. You can either let it simmer in the pan or put it in a hot oven to finish.

And that's it! A basic, delicious meal with all the important components. Protein, starch and veggies! Now I have a variation for you. To make this more of a Mexican style dish. Replace the wine with some enchilada sauce and rather than pasta, make some rice to go with it! But for right now this is our finished product! That's Cacciatore!

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