xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Ria's Trini-Style Chicken Cacciatore

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ria's Trini-Style Chicken Cacciatore

 

This dish of well-seasoned, braised chicken cooked with peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh herbs and served over noodles  is a gratifying mid-week meal.

The food police will probably arrest me for taking a classic chicken cacciatore recipe and “Trinidadian-izing” it, but I will take my chances. I marinated the chicken using “Green Seasoning”. Green Seasoning, as we Trinidadians refer to it, is a blend of fresh herbs(your favorite herbs) and includes onion, garlic and hot or pimento peppers. If used in the right quantities in your cooking, it will more than compensate for the "flavor" lost by removing the packaged, processed flavor enhancers like seasoning salts, chicken broth or bouillon cubes. I also removed the wine from the recipe. I know what you are saying, “this girl is nuts”!  Go ahead say it. I give you permission. I usually cook with wine. Sometimes I add it to the food…..but this was not the time nor the occasion at my house. Soon.

This recipe is great the first day, but makes for fabulous left overs the next day. Chicken cacciatore can also be served over rice, mashed potatoes or polenta.

Ingredients
½ cup all purpose flour for coating
8 whole chicken thighs
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red,  yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced ( I used a mixture of red and yellow)
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes or two large tomatoes diced or pureed
2 cups fresh mushrooms, Sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
1 package of egg noodles, freshly cooked

Green seasoning
2 scallions
2 sprigs parsley
1 tsp thyme leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 habanero or pimento pepper(optional)

Makes 6-8 Servings

1. In a food processor or blender, finely chop scallion, parsley, thyme leaves, garlic and habanero or pimento pepper (if using).
2. Season chicken with 3 tablespoons of blended seasoning, salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.
3. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
4. Heat olive oil and butter in heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken until brown on both sides about 5 mins per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
5. Add the onion and bell peppers to the skillet and sauté until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes with their juice, mushrooms and 3 tablespoon of the green seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Bring sauce to a simmer (little under boiling point).
6. Return chicken to skillet and coat with sauce. Continue cooking for 30 minutes over medium low heat. If sauce is too thick, add water and cook until the right consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings.
7. Serve over egg noodles and garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes:-
  • Instead of the canned tomatoes, I pureed very ripe tomatoes in the food processor. If you are using canned diced tomatoes, remember to read the ingredients. Beware of "natural flavors" or other preservatives in the ingredients. "Natural flavors" is just another name for MSG.
  • Scallions and parsley can be replaced with your favorite herbs including rosemary, sage and/or oregano. If you are familiar with and already have your favorite blend of "green seasoning", by all means use it.
  • I used whole chicken thighs but you can definitely use boneless breasts or thighs. If using breasts, cut the cooking time in half.
  • I left the skin on for added flavor but it can be removed after cooking...FYI-I happen to like the skin....and I also happen to eat it. WHAT????? Makes me happy. The end. :-)
Assemble ingredients
Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
Do your prep work, make "Green Seasoning" in the food processor or blender(I know I had a pic for this step...but I probably ate it), slice peppers, mushrooms and onions, mince 1 clove more of garlic(extra garlic clove optional)....
Puree tomatoes in food processor if using fresh...or open the can if using canned...
Wash chicken thoroughly removing yucky stuff, pat dry and season chicken with 3 tablespoons of blended seasoning, salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.
 Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
Heat olive oil and butter in heavy skillet over medium heat.
 Add chicken and fry chicken until brown on both sides...about 5 mins per side...
 Transfer to a plate and set aside....do not pick at it and try to convince yourself that a little piece here and a little piece there is fully cooked[me so guilty]..'cause it is not! Step away from the chicken...
 Remove excess oil from the skillet leaving just a little
 
 Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic to the skillet and sauté until the onion is tender.
Like so......
Add the tomatoes with their juice, mushrooms and 3 tablespoons of the green seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
 Bring sauce to a simmer (little under boiling point)....
Return chicken to skillet and coat with sauce. Continue cooking for 30 minutes over medium low heat.
and here you have it...!! I wish you could taste it...the blend of flavors..so comforting...the aroma divine...all the buds were happy...tastebuds and little buds aka kids and husbud...we really enjoyed it.
 
There are many good ways to make this chicken cacciatore as there are cooks to make it, so use this recipe as a base and make it your own by adding your favorite ingredients.

I really enjoyed making this dish for you...thanks for stopping by!

3 comments:

Magz said...

In my case - I would omit the flour (coz of being Celiac) and add a bottle of wine (coz I'm an alcoholic!)!!!!

Cooking with Ria said...

LOL, you do that cuz...! whatever makes you happy...lol

Dawn said...

This is so yummy....I'm going to try it again for Thanksgiving!

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