Posts tagged ‘Peppers’

February 26, 2012

Braised Huntsmen-Style Chicken

Braised Huntsmen-Style Chicken

The word cacciatora means “huntsmen-style,” in Italian. According to Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari from the show Parks and Recreation, cacciatore is called “chickie catch.”  Chef Todd English explains the original chicken cacciatore did not have tomatoes, but used only vinegar or wine, resulting in a darker sauce. Bobby Flay adds jalapeño, Emeril uses cremini mushrooms and only chicken thighs, and The Pioneer Woman uses turmeric and egg noodles. I suspect as long as the dish includes some combination of chicken, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and onions, everyone is headed in the right direction.

For me, chicken cacciatore is the perfect hearty dish on a chilly night. I load mine up with lots of colorful bell peppers, diced pancetta and hot cherry peppers. The pancetta adds a deeper, rich flavor, and the hot cherry peppers give it a major kick – we love that heat! It’s fun to peek around on the internet and see the different versions of cacciatore making their appearance online. We really enjoyed this 4plates2table huntsmen-style chicken. Don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients. This dish is easy to make and leftovers are super delicious, too.

INGREDIENTS (serves about 6)

  • 3lbs bone-in chicken (combination of breasts and thighs)
  • 1/3lb pancetta, diced (ask the deli to slice 3 – 1/4 inch slices)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced into half moons
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 16oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes, partially drained
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1-2 tbsp jarred hot cherry peppers, chopped (more if you like it hot)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • Few sprigs fresh thyme, bundled
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • Wondra flour for dusting the chicken

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Dust with Wondra flour or regular flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan (6qt) over medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Brown the chicken about 3-4 minutes per side and remove from the pan, set aside. Don’t overcrowd the pan, work in batches if necessary.

Add the diced pancetta to the same pan and sauté until it begins to crisp, remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and peppers and sauté until they begin to soften. Add in the mushrooms and sauté until they release their juices, scraping up the brown bits in the bottom of the pan as you go. Add the garlic, cook for one minute until fragrant. Add the hot cherry peppers, capers, wine and tomatoes. Stir well to combine.

Nestle the chicken pieces back into the pan. Toss in the crisp pancetta, thyme bundle, and chopped oregano. Cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with grated parmesan on the side.

* This would be delicious served over pasta, polenta or with just a rustic baguette on the side.

January 29, 2012

Spicy Peperonata

Spicy Peperonata

I get together with my college girlfriends once a year for a weekend of belly laughing, binge eating and drinking. I know they’re reading this, so let’s be honest ladies – our days of being able to drink all night, dance like Beyoncé’s back-up dancers and eat as much as we’d like are long over. They were viciously taken away from us with the birth of our children, turning 40 and as my 13-year-old reminds me, our lack of present day coolness.

What we lack in coolness is compensated for by our collective chefness. I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m going with “chefness.” We are all brilliant cooks, and when you put us together we make a killer spread that would make Gordon Ramsay proud. And if he’s not proud, one of our other talents is being able to curse like truck drivers, so we can give it right back to him! I guess I had too many glasses of wine when I gave this recipe to my friend during our last weekend together. She called me with questions over the holidays and I had no idea what she was talking about, and had no written recipe here to help her. I think I just threw a little of this, and a little of that together to make this spicy peperonata. Thanks to Kristin, for helping me pull this together.

Peperonata can be served on crostini as an appetizer, as a topping for sandwiches, or even as a side with grilled meats. You can control how spicy you make this – we like it hot.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 cup jarred sliced hot cherry peppers, packed in vinegar, drained and stems removed (more or less, you decide)
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Rub the outsides of the whole peppers with a little olive oil and kosher salt. Set the peppers on a sheet tray covered with foil (helps with clean-up). Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the peppers begin to slump and brown, turning them periodically as they roast.

Remove the peppers from the oven, place them immediately in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes. This will make removing their skins really easy. Once cool enough to touch, peel off the skins and remove the seeds. Slice the peppers in long, thin strips and place them in a bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients to the peppers and stir. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

This can be made a day in advance. The longer it sits, the better the flavors come together. If making in advance, wait to add the chopped fresh basil until right before serving.

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