So the very first challenge Rachel Ray's team had to cook was Chicken Cacciatore. I've had Chicken Cacciatore before, and I like it (like 99% of the food in the world). It seemed relatively simple to cook and I figured that it might be a fun change away from the usual fare that I whip up.
I decided to serve it on whole grain spaghetti since it is always nice to have something to suck up all the delicious juices. *yum* [I always wish the pasta companies would make whole grain angel hair. Angel hair is my favorite pasta, but we haven't found any whole grain angel hair yet. Maybe whole grains are too large to make angel hair? I doubt it.]
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 4 chicken thighs, trim off extra fat
- 2 red peppers, chopped into small pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine [I used white zinfandel instead]
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 15oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sprinkle the skin-side of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a hot pan, and fry the chicken thighs (skin-side down) for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown. [This melts the fat in the chicken skin, and makes the skin crispy.]
- Sprinkle more salt and pepper on the meat-side of the chicken.
- Flip the chicken, and fry the meat-side of the chicken until it is golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from heat and set aside. [The meat should still be half-cooked.]
- Pour the chicken fat away, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. [Most people don't do this, but this is healthier.]
- Saute the garlic and onions in the pan until fragrant and almost transparent.
- Add the red peppers to the pan and continue frying.
- Add wine, and let it reduce to half its volume.
- Add chicken stock, tomatoes and herbs to the pan.
- Add the chicken pieces back to the pan, and let it simmer in the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked. The chicken is cooked when the drippings are clear.
- Spoon the sauce and chicken over pasta, and serve.