Allow me to introduce you to our new favorite winery. Jim and I visited Waugh Cellars last year and have since continued to enjoy all their lovely wines. I've recently heard that Waugh is about to expand their distribution to Austin - ah, fingers crossed!
Chicken Cacciatore is one of the first meals I made for Jim. After I blew through all my standbys like Meatloaf, Pot Roast and Spaghetti with Meatballs I was forced to hit the internet and find something online that I thought looked manageable enough to a beginner cook. I found this recipe for Chicken Cacciatore on Food Network.com. When I made this recipe back in 2007 I had never cooked with bell peppers before or with wine. I know... at the time I had NO idea what was about to come of me in the kitchen. I've since made this dinner for Jim and I on numerous occasions and even made it once while camping!
Here is what you need to gather for this meal if you are making four entrees:
4 skinless chicken breast halves on the bone, about 2 pounds (I simply used boneless, skinless chicken breast)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced (I left these out just because we are not fans of mushrooms)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, chopped and juice reserved
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more, to taste
I first rinse the chicken breasts in water, then trip the ugly parts off.
Pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.
Add chicken breasts and sear on each side. You don't have to cook it all the way through, just give it a nice brown color.
When all the chicken is browned on both sides, about eight minutes - move to a plate to rest.
Slice an onion.
Gather the rest of the ingredients. I used a can of diced tomatoes in place of a can of whole tomatoes that the recipe has you chop.
In the same pan that you cooked the chicken, throw in the sliced onions and the red bell peppers. Stir around the veggies to coat them in any leftover oil.
Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Here is what the veggies looked like after five minutes.
Add the garlic.
Now add the wine.
Now add the wine.
Tell me this isn't the BEST smell in the world. I swear I would dab it behind both ears if I could!
Allow this to cook down by about half.
Next, add the can of tomatoes.
Add the oregano.
Season with pepper.
Season with salt.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
I went off recipe here when I lifted the lid and the tomatoes and veggies were too dry, so I added a little bit of spicy V8 to the pan to juice it up a bit.
I usually add more red pepper flakes because I like the sauce spicy. The chicken seriously is super moist since it cooks in the tomato sauce. I usually serve this dish with crusty bread and a bottle of wine. It's all simple and delish. Bon Appetit!