Monday, February 16, 2015

Chicken Cacciatore

Happy Almost Valentine's Day... 
I have been baking like a mad women. I had two customers throw in birthday cakes also.. And one of  the birthdays was in January. That cake is cool, but OMG people, I am dying here.. I may end up sharing a picture of the panda cake. And maybe next time.

So with Valentine's day being on a Saturday, are you a go out to dinner kind of person. Well we are not. My Husbands' birthday was 2 weeks ago and mine is in 3 weeks. We used to do very romantic things for each, but being married 12 years has changed that. Most of my Sweets job will be for Friday. I have a cake for Sunday morning pickup.. What a crazy weekend.

As much as I love surf and turf, that is not always budget friendly. And If you have a house full of kids, it totally does not work. In walks Chicken Cacciatore. This was fantastic. I think I made this years ago, but it has been a long time. This is a budget friendly dinner, that can feed 8 or make small packages for the freezer and later dinners. The recipe stated that you could spoon it over mashed potatoes or polenta. Both are my favorites, but we are dieting... Augh... So I cooked lentils and combined those with the chicken. My Husband would have LOVED mashed potatoes, but he wants to diet.

My Husband just needs to light diet and workout, and 
off come the pounds. Just sensible eating and portion control.

Chicken Cacciatore
very slightly modified from
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
8 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
24 ounces canned diced tomatoes
16 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large dish. Roll the chicken pieces in the flour until lightly coated. Heat a large Dutch oven on medium high. Add the olive oil and lightly brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

To the large pan, add the garlic, onion, red pepper and mushrooms. Saute until soft. Add the remaining ingredients, cook for 5 minutes and then add the chicken.

STOVETOP: Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 2-3 hours ( or longer) stirring occasionally.

OVEN: Cover and cook in a 200 degree oven for 2-3 hours (or even longer). To let the sauce thicken, uncover for the last 30 minutes or so.

Serve with Mashed potatoes, rice, polenta, or lentils to soak up the rich sauce.

I used average size thighs. This recipe has some flexibility 
to add more chicken for a larger group

I dumped in all the vegetables and started sauting

This is after it has cooked for awhile.

Do you see this RICH color of the slow cooked sauce.
Every meal cannot always take this long, but
once in awhile, it does taste delicious.
Sometimes, in our fast pace world, you forget
how savory food can really taste.
SLOW Down and enjoy dinner.

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