So tonight I decided to make something I’d been wanting to make for a little while. I’ve had it many times prepared different ways. It’s one of those kind of dishes that you can prepare in your own way. There are those few shared ingredients and then the door is open for you to add what you want to it. Some people add white wine to the dish. Some people add a little chicken stock to it. You can really do whatever you want as long as you keep the main ingredients the same. You always want to make sure you have garlic, diced tomatoes that you can puree if you so choose, onions, peppers, and a little tomato sauce. Plus you want to of course have your chicken as that is part of the dish itself.
I did the chicken part first and made sure that I cooked that. I just added a tiny bit of a butter substitute to the pan and then cooked two chicken breasts. Since I’m living alone I usually cook enough of my meal that I have another meal to eat from it on another night of the week. I just do a simple salt and pepper on the chicken and cook the chicken. I didn’t feel the need to photograph cooking chicken since you’ve seen enough pictures of that on my blog already. I will say not to bring up the argument that I didn’t even know existed but I do not wash my chicken breasts before putting them in the pan. I never have and that’s not something that I learned growing up either. My mom and grandmother taught me cooking and they didn’t wash their chicken or meats either. Vegetables were a different thing though and when I’m actually cooking with fresh vegetables they are rinsed each time I use them.
Once the chicken is cooked I set it aside and start working on the sauce. As you could see from the above photo I used the time saving method and used frozen pepper strips and frozen already cut onions. I normally would like to freshly slice everything but did not have the time to do that today. It still turns out the same way but obviously if I had the fresh ingredients I’d prefer that. I still am terrible at doing the garlic thing so I always have a jar of already minced garlic in my fridge.
To start the sauce you want to first make sure that you take the onions, garlic and peppers and get those pre-cooked. You don’t want to overcook them because you are going to be leaving them sit in the sauce and simmer for a while as well. You want to cook them just enough and then add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pan. The beauty of this is if you really want to do it could be a one pan cooking day. Cook the chicken, rinse the pan and the cook the vegetables and sauce in the same pan. I did not do that today but I also was off on my timing.
Once those are done it’s time to drain the oil or butter out of the pan and off of the vegetables. You don’t need any extra liquid in the pan as you’re going to get liquid out of the tomatoes that you are going to add in. Additionally if you choose to add wine you’re also adding extra liquid that way as well. I just like to pat down the vegetables to try to soak up some of that oil because you don’t need that added fat content in your body. Once you do that it’s time to add the “sauce” factor meaning the tomatoes and sauce.
I add the tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pot. Then I add some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning into the pan. Now the next step is the important step. You want to set your kitchen timer whichever kind of timer you use for 20 minutes. Stir everything together and let it come to a simmer. Leave it simmer for that amount of time. You will notice it will thicken up a bit as it simmers and that is what you want to happen. Not too thick though so be sure to keep an eye on it. You must make sure you are occasionally stirring it so that it does not burn either.
While you have the sauce simmering is your perfect opportunity to figure out what you are going to serve the chicken cacciatore with. This is one of those things that you can really serve with everything. I tonight decided to serve it over pasta but I’ve had it over a bed of white rice and that was just as delicious! I say it’s up to you pick what you want to serve it with and give it a try.
I plated it over a bed of pasta noodles of course they are gluten free as always. Then the sauce and then the chicken. I also used freshly grated Parmesan on top of it and sprinkled it with parsley as well. It just adds that little something extra in my eyes.
Until next time…keep on cooking and loving every minute of it.