I’m not Italian, (contrary to popular belief), but I made one hell of meal to sway the general consensus in favour of the proud Nonnas and Nonnos last night.
I love one pot meals. They’re creative yet easy and so delicious. I also despise post-cooking cleanup so this is the way to go on any lazy Friday night. What is chicken cacciatore, you may ask? It’s a fancy way of saying chicken drowned in crushed tomatoes, any plethora of veggies and simmered down to a scalding Le Creuset pot of goodness.
- bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (4-8 depending on desired serving size – I only had Sam and I so it was 4 for us)
- swallow bowl of 1/2 cup flour + a pinch of salt
- seeded, cored and sliced green pepper
- fresh parsley
- 1 large, thinly sliced onion
- a few strips of cooked and crumbled bacon
- basil and oregano (fresh or dried)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- tomato sauce or diced tomatoes if you prefer
- 3 stalks of celery chopped and thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon of butter (or 2tbsp olive oil)
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
Now it all gets easy. You’ll want to dry your chicken with paper towels before even rolling them around in your swallow bowl of flour and salt mix. (I added a bit of garlic powder here, but that’s just because I love having breathe that could potentially save me under a vamp take-over). Did you know that if you don’t dry the chicken it won’t brown? Well, if you didn’t, now you do. Now toss in some butter into your medium-large cooking pot and allow to melt down and warm before adding your chicken. It normally takes 4-6 minutes of cooking on each side of chicken thighs for them to cook through. Once your home smells wonderfully of browned chicken and butter, remove your chicken and place aside. Drain out the fat from your pot and add a touch more butter or olive oil. Toss in your onion and mushrooms and allow to brown. (If you crowd the mushrooms, browning will take longer). Then add your garlic, celery, pepper and carrot to the mix. Let simmer in their own juices for about 8 minutes. Pour in your tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes) and the chicken broth. Stir, picking up the vegetables from the bottom of the pot to combine all flavours. Using tongs, place your chicken back into the pot to gently poach and marinate in your saucy creation. Leave simmering for 20 minutes. Let cool, and maybe serve on a bed of rice, and enjoy!