I have been absconding from my blogging duties for a while now, but for a good reason. I was away on a trip back home, to India, the past month, and it was awesome! India is always warm, overwhelming and crazy, all at the same time. The days just flew past eating my favourite dishes, reliving childhood memories, and basically just being a child again. There is always something so innately comforting about going to your hometown, the place where you belong, that made you who you are today. The icing on the cake is always the warmth of staying at your mother’s place, where you can truly destress and leave the worries behind. The three weeks just passed in a whirlwind and before I knew it, it was time to go back.
So after settling back into the rhythm of daily life and getting over my jet lag, it was time to cook something. It’s no surprise that I was missing Italian food the most, So after eating my heart’s fill of pasta, I moved on to my other favourite. Chicken Cacciatore, is a very basic but hearty dish. This is a rustic dish which I like to eat with crusty bread to mop up all the sauces. ‘Cacciatore’ literally means hunter in Italian, and this is a hunter style dish, in which onions, mushrooms, and carrots are sautéed together with tomatoes, and then the browned chicken pieces are added, and the dish is allowed cook on low heat for an hour. My recipe is a variation of Curtis Stone’s recipe, and I have been making it this way for a while now. It’s both AS and my favourite, and is an easy one pot dish. I like to add in vegetables like broccoli, zucchini etc. to the mix as well, and then garnish in the end with parsley and chopped Kalamata Olives. The olives provide a nice tartness to balance out the tomatoes. I use whole chicken legs for this recipe, and 2 whole chicken legs are good enough for two people, but you can also use drumsticks or thighs. Just be sure to use a cut of meat that will withstand long hours of cooking and not dry out. I did not fuss around with the presentation too much this time, as this dish is supposed to easy and rustic. So here’s the recipe
- 2 cups Cup Mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Whole Chicken Legs skin-on and bone-in
- Salt & Pepper, to season
- 1 cup brown Onions, thinly sliced
- 2-4 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
- 1 cup Carrots quartered
- 1 Zucchini quartered
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 2 cup Tomatoes, diced ( I used canned tomatoes)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/2 tsp dried Oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried Red Chilli flakes
- 1 cup small Broccoli Florets
- 1 tbsp Parsley chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup Giant Pitted Kalamata Olives
- Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat.
- Season the chicken legs liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the chicken in batches until it turns golden brown on both sides and set aside.
- Add sliced onions and garlic to the pan and sauté it, until the onions turn soft. Add the mushrooms and carrots and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the mushrooms begun to soften.
- Add the red wine to the pan and reduce it until its almost dry. Add the chopped tomatoes with bay leaf, dried oregano, and red chilli flakes. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat.
- Add the browned chicken pieces to the pan and simmer gently with the sauce, until the chicken is cooked through. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer.This would take around 30-40mins.
- Add the broccoli and zucchini halfway through the chicken cooking time.
- Once the chicken is cooked through stir through the chopped parsley and olives.
- Spoon it out in individual serving plates, and serve alongside crusty bread and parsley butter!