I like to prepare dishes for guests that allow me to enjoy their company. In order to do this, I select dishes that can be prepared before the guests arrive and are already cooking while we are enjoying their company. My "Sure to Please" Chicken Cacciatore is a prime example of this. Over time I have made several adjustments to enhance the flavour while at the same time using healthy alternatives (eg. skinless chicken thighs and breasts; I saute ingredients in extra virgin olive oil instead of butter). Because this dish has an Italian flare, so do all the other dishes that I serve before, during and after this meal. I serve an antipasta tray as an appetizer, and toasted garlic bread, a tossed green salad with an oil and vinaigrette dressing, whole wheat spaghetti, and the same wine that is in the cacciatore. For dessert I serve Tiramisu (also made ahead). As a result, most of my work is complete before company arrives. I have shared this recipe with women who say they do not cook and I have received rave reviews from all of them - their guests loved it so much that one man ate the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. I like to make this dish in the summer, when I can use fresh produce from my vegetable garden or from the local farmer's market. My inspiration for this recipe is that I love to cook and entertain. This recipe is full of flavour, easy to prepare and tastes like you were in the kitchen all day (what a bonus!).
- Portion size 8 servings
- Credits : anne Grabowski
Method1) Cut all chicken breasts to the same size as the chicken thighs (this makes for even cooking).
2) Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan.
3) Brown off all chicken pieces in oil, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside.
4) Chop onion and peppers coarsely (into 1/4 inch pieces).
5) Peal and finely chop garlic.
6) Saute onion, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers until golden (approximately 5 minutes).
7) Add and stir in the Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried basil, lemon pepper, celery seed, black pepper, and bay leaves.
8) Cook approximately 2 minutes.
9) In a separate large bowl, chop tomatoes coarsely. Add wine, pasta sauce. Whisk in flour until no lumps remain.
10) Add the tomato mixture to frying pan.
11) Return chicken to frying pan. Mix all contents of frying pan together.
12) Add contents of frying pan to a large Dutch oven.
13) Turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
14) Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
15) 20 minutes before serving, boil 16 cups of water in a large pot; once boiling add pasta. Cook according to package directions. Stir frequently until tender (al dente); 10-14 minutes.
16) Remove pasta from heat and drain into a colander.
17) Return pasta to pot and toss gently with 1 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil and 1 tsp dried basil.
18) Place pasta on individual serving plates and top with chicken cacciatore. Place parmesan cheese on top of cacciatore.
19) Pass around red pepper flakes.