Tag Archives: chicken

Everyday Italian Cooking…Easy!

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My mom was watching me prepare dinner the other day and she blurted out, “You spend too much time prepping for your meals! Why don’t you make simple things instead of chopping, chopping, chopping!” Ha! Ha! Coming from an Italian Nonna, these words stung a little – I thought I was cooking something special and tasty, and in order to get all those good flavors, I had to spend lots of time prepping. But then, I thought back to my mom’s cooking – it’s always delicious and healthy…and a lightbulb went off that I don’t need to always spend so much time – healthy, tasty meals can be achieved with the simplest ingredients in the simplest manner possible. So I asked her how she cooked her chicken legs and thighs on the stovetop. This is her recipe – so delicious and, I have to admit, REALLY easy! You just need a little time to cook this slowly, but other than that, there really isn’t much to it!  I’m not going to add amounts for the ingredients because everything will be to taste!

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Ingredients:

Chicken pieces, such as drumsticks and thighs – skin removed but bone in

Desired spices – I use a combination of Italian seasonings, with pepper and a little salt

Butter

Olive oil

White wine

Directions:

Wash the chicken but don’t dry it.

In a skillet large enough to hold the chicken but not too large that the flavors can’t coat the chicken, place everything except the white wine in the pan.

Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it cook slowly for about half an hour.

Look at it and see if the water has evaporated. If not and the chicken hasn’t developed any color yet, increase the heat just a tad. Cover and cook a few more minutes.

Check the chicken frequently and turn the pieces to evenly brown them. When all the water has evaporated and the chicken pieces have browned well, add a splash of white wine. Turn the chicken and evaporate down most of the wine.

Pollo alla Cacciatore al Tesoro

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There is always so much one can do with chicken – it is one of the most versatile of all meats and I cook with it often!  I always buy the best chicken I can find, and lately that has been the organic chicken they sell at Costco in the refrigerated section.  They carry boneless skinless thighs and breasts, and drumsticks.  They come in 3 packages connected together- with each package containing several pieces of chicken that are just the right size for a meal for my family of 4.

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For last night’s dinner, I used the drumsticks, but you can use a cut up whole chicken if you prefer.

Pollo alla Cacciatore

Chicken alla Cacciatore (Hunter’s Chicken)

6 drumsticks, skin removed

Flour for dredging

1/2 onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped (you can use any kind, even dried porcinis if you want)

2 tomatoes, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth (or mushroom soaking water if you use dry mushrooms)

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Herbs you like such as rosemary, sage, oregano or thyme – chopped fine

Salt & pepper to taste

Olive oil for cooking

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Salt and pepper the chicken and dredge it in some flour, shaking off the excess.

Brown the chicken in some olive oil until it is browned on all sides.  Remove and set aside.

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Saute the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms in some additional olive oil until the vegetables are soft.

Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook for a couple of minutes.

Increase the heat and add the white wine.  Boil it all together for a few minutes until some of the wine has evaporated.

Dissolve a spoonful of flour in about 3 T. of water and add it to the vegetable mixture.  Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the broth (or mushroom water) and tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes. 

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Return the chicken to the pan and spoon some of the vegetables on top of it.  Turn the heat down, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook until done – around 15 more minutes.  Be careful not to burn the chicken or vegetables. 

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Buon appetito!