Monday, August 29, 2011

Catch a Tory

I've never cooked chicken cacciatore before ... but tonight I tackled it (without benefit of a recipe) ... and it turned out pretty well.  Today I bought four chicken thighs for $4.35 and decided to try my hand at this dish.  Here's how it went:

Rinse the chicken thighs and dry them thoroughly.  Salt and pepper them liberally on both sides.  Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat.  Add a good olive oil (I actually used peanut oil tonight ... I couldn't find the olive oil) and heat until smoking.  Add the chicken thighs and cook them until well browned.  Remove the thighs to a plate and add one well chopped onion ($0.30), three slivered garlic cloves ($0.25) and one well diced Italian pepper ($0.50).  Then add a good sprinkling of red pepper flakes and some fennel seeds to taste (I like a lot of them).  Put a big can of good whole tomatoes ($1.69) in a big bowl and squeeze them to a pulp and then add them to the frying pan.  Add a good pinch of salt and some more black pepper grinds, a palm-full of dried parsley flakes, a bay leaf, and a good pinch of oregano.

Cook this sauce for about ten minutes and then return the chicken thighs to the pan along with a can of drained artichoke hearts ($1.89) or just artichoke heart bottoms and any juices from the thighs.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook another fifteen minutes or until the chicken is real tender.  (A few things I could have added but didn't -- some chopped-up sun-dried tomatoes and a good splash of red wine.)  In a separate pot boil a good quantity of salted water and cook some cappellini ($1.29).  Serve the chicken cacciatori over the pasta with a liberal sprinkling of Romano cheese.  Enjoy.  (You pick the side entrees ... maybe oil and garlic broccolini and a balsamic-vinegar tomato salad, see: My Tomato Salad.)

So, for around ten dollars I main-course fed very generously three people (with enough left for my lunch tomorrow.)  We all said it was delicious.  Not bad for a chicken-cacciatore tyro.

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