Friday, March 9, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore Done Right

When it comes to using the recipes I find in cookbooks or online, I often adapt them to my tastes and put my own spin on things. This is usually a combination of wanting to use the ingredients I have and liking my food a certain way. However, sometimes you come across something that's right just the way it is, which is what happened when I found Giada's Chicken Cacciatore. Aside from omitting the flour used to coat the chicken (making this recipe gluten-free!) and using only chicken breasts, I followed her recipe to the letter, and it was totally delicious. Over polenta with a side of sauteed spinach, this meal hit the spot, just as Giada had intended.

Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe, courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis:
(Makes 4 servings)

4 chicken breasts
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used an inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc)
1 (28-ounce) can reduced sodium diced tomatoes with juice
2/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers, and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken to plates. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle basil and Parmesan cheese on top.

Boyfriend Meter:
4 out of 5
"Savory, saucy, light"


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