Hey guys, how the hell are ya?! Yes, I've been M.I.A. for a while due to school once again kicking my ass, but I'm back! I found some free time today to fiddle a little with the look of this site and finally post a new recipe. I will do my very best to post more often from now on. This is my LAST semester and then I graduate with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. I.Cannot.Wait. You should be excited too, because that will most definitely mean much more frequent updates here on Foodie!
So before I get into today's recipe, I want to quickly mention what's been added to the site. On the top right hand side of this site you will now find a poll that will help me make this site what you want it to be. So take a minute and vote in the poll, ok? Thanks! I also added a way for you to receive emails anytime this site has been updated so you don't have to keep checking every day for a new post. You'll find that on the top right hand side of this site as well... just enter your email address and click submit.
Ok, so I was inspired to cook this dish, Chicken Cacciatore, while watching Worst Cooks in America on the Food Network. Anne Burrell's team cooked this dish and it looked delicious and easy to make for a weeknight dinner. It also looked healthy and lower in calories and fat, so I was even more interested. I've been desperately trying to lose my extra "foodie" weight lately, so you may be seeing more recipes on the healthy side here.
My first impression of this recipe was flavor-packed, fresh-tasting, and delicious. If this is what eating healthy tastes like, then count me in. Also, you can make this not spicy at all or as spicy as you want simply by increasing the amount of red pepper flake you use, or leaving it out all together. I suggest at least putting some in because it really punches up the experience of this dish and if you're like me, maybe add a little more than the recipe calls for to give it an extra kick.
Find out how to make it after the jump.
Start by butchering your own chicken. Ahhh don't give me that... it's fun! It's also pretty easy. Anne Burrell demonstrated how to do it on Worst Cooks in America and after seeing her do it, I was reminded that I could easily do it too. Plus, I'm sure it's cheaper to buy the whole chicken and butcher it yourself than buying it already butchered. If you missed it, scroll down a bit to see a video of Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine butchering a chicken so you can too!
So here's my chicken after I butchered it...
Next thing you do is take a paper towel and dry the chicken pieces, then season with salt (and pepper if you're like me).
Next, add the olive oil to your pan and put it on medium high heat. When the oil is hot (after about 30 seconds), add the chicken pieces to brown them.
After a couple minutes, check the chicken to see if it's browned. If so, flip your chicken pieces over to brown them on the other side. Keep in mind, you're not trying to cook the chicken all the way through right now, you're just trying to get a nice golden brown crust on the outside (which adds wonderful flavor to your chicken). The chicken will have a chance to cook the rest of the way through later on in the sauce.
You'll probably have to brown your chicken in two or more batches depending on the size of your pan. Once your chicken is browned, set it aside on a plate.
Next, add a little more olive oil to the pan the chicken was just in, then add the onions and crushed red pepper, season with salt, to taste, and sweat over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and sweat for 1 to 2 minutes.
Next, add the peppers and cook until they are soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Then, add the mushrooms, season with salt, to taste, and cook until they are soft.
Next, add the white wine and allow the mixture to simmer and reduce by half.
After the mixture has reduced by half, add the crushed tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaves. I didn't use a thyme bundle, I just sprinkled in dried thyme, about a teaspoons worth - just eyeball it. Stir the mixture to combine, then add your chicken pieces back to the pan. Your pan should be pretty much full to the top with chicken and sauce now. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Check the level of the sauce periodically during the cooking process and replenish it with water as needed; the level of liquid should be about even with the chicken.
While the chicken is cooking, make a quick pot of rice and steam up some green beans. You don't have to worry about seasoning up your rice or beans that much because all your flavor is going to come from the wonderful sauce on your chicken.
When the chicken is ready, serve it on top of the rice and green beans. Enjoy and let me know how yours turned out! If you email me a pic of yours, I'll include it in this post! Happy cooking!
Here's a video of Anne Burrell on Worst Cooks in America cooking this dish: