Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Family Recipe

I really appreciate that so many people are cheering me on in my cooking adventures and sharing their recipes. Tonight I tried a brand new-to-me recipe that my Dad - who's the big cook of the family - sent me. It's so cute, Dad almost never emails, so it means a lot that he sat down to type this all out!

Here's his recipe with the final results to follow:

for 4----3 pounds of chicken thighs, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, 2-3 tablespoons of flour, 2 bell peppers cut into strips(red or yellow have more flavor than green), 1 onion diced, 3 cloves of garlic minced, 1 can of crushed tomatoes, 1 quarter teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 half teaspoon of dried basil, 8 ounces of sliced portobello or button mushrooms(optional), 1 cup of red wine or chicken stock.(if making your own sauce)

Directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet add 2 -3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper the chicken and then dredge in the flour, cook the chicken on all sides to golden brown, remove chicken to a roasting pan in a single layer that has a lid. Now saute the onion in skillet till translucent( about 5 minutes) , add garlic, cook 30 seconds, add 1 tablespoon of flour,cook 1 minute, add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes. basil and oregano, bring mixture to a boil--it will thicken some-add mushrooms and peppers-mix it and then pour over the chicken. Place in oven at 350 covered for 30 minutes-check if sauce too thin leave lid off till desired thickness-serve over rice or pasta--

If you don't want to make your own sauce could use classico"s tomato and basil instead--the procedure would be-brown chicken-add classico tomato and basil, mushrooms, and peppers-cook in oven 45-60 minutes and serve-but that wouldn't be any fun at all! Love Dad

I went all in and made the full version of the recipe, just skipping the added salt. Note, this is a big undertaking -- with prep time and cooking, this took me almost 2 hours tonight. It's definitely not a weeknight meal.

This was the first time I've used chicken thighs. I know chicken cacciatore tends to be made with dark meat for better flavor. I've learned my lesson, though, to not just buy a pre-wrapped package of thighs. They were VERY fatty, and I probably spent 20 minutes trimming and still didn't do a great job. If I buy thighs again, I will ask a butcher to trim them. (The point of all this lifestyle stuff is to avoid fatty thighs, right?!? ;-)

I did get the chance to use one of my cooking class skills again, dredging the chicken in flour before putting it in the skillet to cook. That's another first for me cooking at home.

Here's the dish after 30 minutes at 350. I don't have lids for my roasting pans, so used foil. I did stick it back in to thicken up for about another 8 minutes while I was cooking the pasta.

The finished product, over whole grain rotini.

This made a HUGE amount overall, and I have 3 big containers of it stowed in the fridge for lunches this week. It was tasty, and it made me VERY full and satisfied. I'm still learning to like green peppers, and this has a very peppery taste. In the future, I may add more of the spices in the beginning and/or a cup of marsala wine instead of the chicken broth to enhance the flavor. But, this recipe can definitely be called a success - and I'll be eating it all week!


Stef said...

This also would be good without rice or pasta, but served with a big crusty bread to sop up all that sauce!

Laura P said...

Looks yummy -- you sure you don't want to move back to Richmond?

Just reading the recipe stressed me out -- I so cannot cook -- so I found it very amusing that your dad then put the easier version at the end of the email. But even so, I'm still not sure I can do it.

Have a wonderful day!

Stef said...

I actually finished the last of this for lunch on Wednesday. I think it's a very good sign that as I took the last bite, I thought "how sad... it's gone!" I guess that means this recipe is a keeper. :-)