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Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore, which translates to “chicken the hunter’s way” always conjures up images of rustic Italian countryside and hearty meals eaten around a communal table.  I make this meal whenever I feel like more substantial sustenance, and like all stew-like dishes, the flavours develop beautifully in the fridge so it’s even better the next day!

I got this recipe from my culinary hero, Nigella Lawson, and have slightly altered it to fit my taste.

What you’ll need (serves 2):

  • 4 chicken thighs, deboned and skinned, and cubed 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp garlic oil
  • 3 tsp rosemary, crushed
  • a glass of white wine
  • 1 can of chopped tomato
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, strained
  • 3-5 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbls sugar
  • 1 cup frozen peas (optional)

I always have garlic oil in my fridge, it’s a great way to add flavour to any dish without having to chop or peel.  It’s a cheat’s way to add flavour!  I usually make this in the beginning of the week – just crush some garlic and pour olive oil over top, and let them muse in the fridge together.

I love fresh herbs, but when I’m too lazy to go and buy some, I use dried ones.  I like to grind or crush them slightly so the oils release.  This handy garlic mill is actually wonderful for crushing rosemary, so you don’t get the stalky bits in your food.

First, pour the garlic oil into the pot, and saute onions for a couple of minutes until they are soft.  

Now add the chicken thighs.  I cut them into bite-size chunks.  *Tip:  I like to pre-cut and pre-parcel the chicken thighs in the freezer so I always have them handy and ready to tumble into the pot without the extra work

Once the chicken have browned, add salt and pepper (around 1 tsp each) and pour in the white wine.  Don’t worry if your pot had some brown bits at the bottom, the wine will help deglaze it.

Pour in the chopped tomato, add the bay leaves and sugar.  Taste, think about the flavours, this is a great time to adjust it to your taste.  Allow to simmer on low for 20 minutes.  Pour in the beans (and frozen peas, if desired) at the last minute and just warm through, and it’s ready for the table!
 I like to serve it with either crusty rustic bread or cous cous, as both options are great vehicles to soak up the delectable tomatoey juices.
Bon Appetit! 

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