Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The year was 1993 and I was a sophomore in college. I had met someone that I knew I wanted to get to know better--someone that had a car(a hot commodity at the time). So I worked out a deal: if he would take me grocery shopping, I would make him a fabulous dinner. The meal that I hinged my romantic future on? Chicken Cacciatore with mashed potatoes. I don't remember exactly how I decided that recipe was THE ONE, but the proof is in the pudding: 15 years of marriage to the man I still love cooking for. This one's for you baby!
chicken breasts(bone-in is the best, or can use frozen, or if fresh, pound out to thin down)
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
2 cans diced tomatoes
3-4 bay leaves
garlic, minced and powdered
Heat olive oil over high heat in large skillet. Salt and pepper chicken. Quickly sear both sides of chicken just to get some good color on them; remove from pan and set aside. Add peppers and onions to pan and saute until beginning to soften and get a little carmelization on them. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, 2-3 dashes of tabasco, big pinch of italian seasoning, both kinds of garlic, a spoonful of sugar, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and simmer down about 15 minutes, until tomatoes are breaking down and turning a deeper red. Add chicken back in to pot(can add in some water if sauce is looking too dry). Simmer until chicken is done. Taste for seasonings and adjust.
Got leftovers? Great! Here's what you can make:
Chicken and Pasta
1 lb of your favorite bite-sized pasta
bag of frozen broccoli
Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta and broccoli together in boiling water until pasta is done. Drain. Cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add all leftover cacciatore to pasta and broccoli and mix. Taste to see if you need to add salt and pepper(or my favorite--cajun seasoning!) Pour into 9x13 baking dish and top with mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted.