My dear friend Annie’s husband, Geoff, has been asking me – for months – “when are ya gonna post some MANLY recipes? Enough of this twirly spaghetti stuff!”
I hear this when he answers the phone when I call, or I hear him in the background when Annie and I are talking.
Truth be told, I like twirly pasta, so I tend to lean towards recipes calling for it.
It’s time, though, to tell Geoff “I HEAR YOU!!!”
And now, without further ado, my first of a series of MANLY Italian food recipes: Chicken Cacciatore. I use dark meat chicken here because it’s my husband’s preference, and I find it has more flavor. You can use white meat chicken if you’d like; just lessen the cooking time a bit so the chicken doesn’t dry out.
Needless to say, Geoff, this is for you!
• 4 skinless chicken thighs
• 6 skinless chicken drumsticks (if you can’t find skinless, they are easy to skin yourself)
• Salt and pepper
• Flour for dredging
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1 medium red pepper, cut into 1½-inch strips
• 1 medium yellow pepper, cut into 1½-inch strips
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
• ½ cup white wine (I prefer Pinot Grigio)
• 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
• Freshly chopped parsley (for garnish, if desired)
Coat the bottom of a large, deep skillet with the olive oil and place over medium-high heat.
In the meantime, sprinkle both sides of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken thighs in the flour, taking care to shake off any excess flour. Add the coated thighs to the hot oil and brown well on both sides. Remove the thighs to a platter and repeat the procedure with the drumsticks. Place all browned chicken on a platter and set aside.
Add the cut vegetables to the oil that remains in the pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté about 5 minutes until the peppers begin to soften and the onion is translucent. Add the wine and stir well, scraping up any brown bits that remain at the bottom of the skillet. Add the tomatoes, stir well to incorporate, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat a bit and add the browned chicken back into the skillet in one layer. Cover the chicken with some of the sauce, and adjust the heat so that the sauce remains at a steady simmer. Cover the pot and cook the chicken for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the cooked chicken to a clean platter and cover with some of the sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately with polenta or pasta – evenly the twirly kind!