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Friday, February 18, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore with Chloe

Nigella Lawson wrote up an "easier version" of Chicken Cacciatore a few years ago and although it was quite good, Chloe Rossa, Baby and I have since tweaked it a bit. Instead of the skinless chicken breasts that Nigella used, we've subbed breaded boneless chicken thighs and more recently I made the dish with bone-in thighs, which really imparts the flavor. We've alternately added sizzled bacon strips or revolutionary bacon salt and red pepper flakes to the mix, switched red wine vinegar for the white wine vinegar Nigella suggests and once as there weren't any onions lurking in the larder, we used scallions from our crisper and furthermore dispensed of the cherry tomatoes entirely. This recipe is indeed very easy to pull together--and chicken thighs are so inexpensive!

Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4

4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
2 28 oz. cans whole San Marzano tomatoes or the like in their juice
1 small chopped onion
1 Tb fresh chopped rosemary or just throw a few stems in
Several cloves of garlic, smashed
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 glass of dry white wine or vegetable stock
1-2 Tb white or red wine vinegar
Salt, bacon salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
1 lb pasta

With a little olive oil in a capacious frying pan over high heat, brown the thighs on all sides, drain and set aside. Add more oil then attempt to saute the onion and garlic on lower heat. Add in the wine or stock and let it reduce properly, as Nigella says until "almost to a syrup." Add everything else in, including the chicken and keep at a fine simmer for about 20 minutes while tenderly breaking down the tomatoes occasionally. In the meantime, boil your pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of cooked pasta when draining. Stir this in until it binds the sauce, about another 20 minutes. Toss your pasta with the marvelous sauce and then eat it for goodness sake!

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