Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Wednesday. So What's Cooking?

Chicken Cacciatore with Roasted Potatoes

Do you like to cook without specific measurements? Or are you a hard and fast type cook? If garlic is your thing toss in another clove, or maybe you aren’t fond of oregano so hold back on the amount suggested. Make this and any other recipe work your way. You might decide to use an herb that’s not listed. Go for it! Some of the greatest recipes were developed when a jar accidentally spilled into the pot.

The big tip for today – don’t use Pompeiian Olive Oil. It’s too strong, lacking the subtlety to create a good dish.

Chicken Cacciatore with Roasted Potatoes*
Fresh Hard Rolls or a loaf of Italian bread
Crisp Dry White Wine like one of the Soave's

Chicken Cacciatore with Roasted Potatoes*
1 whole chicken cut up
Oregano to taste
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium red pepper sliced
4 medium peeled & quartered russet potatoes
1 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion quartered
Handful of baby bella mushrooms cleaned

Early in the morning, or the night before, drop a handful of salt into a glass bowl. Add just enough water to dissolve the salt. Drop in your cut up chicken, add more water to cover the meat, and set into the fridge until ready to use. This can be done up to two days in advance of cooking the chicken.

Preheat oven to 350f degrees.

Dry the chicken pieces well with paper towels. Heat a 10-12 inch skillet on medium-high. Pour in oil and heat until a haze form over it. Add the chicken and brown. After its browned, lay the chicken into a baking dish large enough to hold all the ingredients comfortably.

In the same frying pan, add the potatoes and onion, sprinkle with oregano. Brown well then lay over and around the chicken.

Sauté the red peppers in the frying pan with all it’s accumulated juices until almost tender. Add the butter and the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are coated well and warmed through. Pour this mixture over the potatoes and chicken scraping the pan to get all the browned pieces.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

*Egg noodles may be substituted for potatoes as shown in the above photo. Prepare the noodles according to package directions. To serve, spoon noodles into a bowl, lay chicken on top, then ladle with pan juices.

Tomato & Garlic Sauce
½ tbsp. olive oil
1 medium glove garlic crushed
1 small can tomato sauce
¼ cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 teas dried basil
Pinch sugar

Use the same skillet from the chicken, add oil and sauté the garlic for a few seconds over moderate heat. Pour in the tomato sauce. Add the chicken stock to the tomato sauce can, swirl around to collect any residue, and pour into the pan. Toss in the bay leaf, basil, and sugar. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

After the chicken and potatoes have baked for 1 hour, test the potatoes with a toothpick. If, and only if, they’re done ladle the sauce on top and bake another 15 minutes.

Now you could buy the bagged stuff, or maybe it’s time to try something different. If you’re in an adventurous mood the following isn’t hard at all and the quantities are definitely up to you.

Head lettuce
Red leaf lettuce washed well
Zucchini scraped and sliced
Cucumber scraped and sliced
Yellow onion or green onions sliced
Tomato quartered

Toss your desired quantities well and chill in the fridge until dinner. Grab your favorite Paul Newman dressing or try:

Oil & Vinegar Dressing
¼ C. red wine vinegar
Pinch of basil
½ cup olive oil
Pinch of oregano
Freshly ground pepper to taste

The amounts will have to be adjusted based on the number of people you are serving.

Just before serving sprinkle the red wine vinegar onto the salad and toss well. Pour the olive oil on a little at a time so the salad is not saturated and toss well. Lace the mixture with the basil, oregano, toss well, and store the salad in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

I'll return Friday with new writing tips. Until then...

Mangiar Bene!

Sloane Taylor


  1. Sounds delicious. I'll have to make it for dinner. Thanks so much for the recipes.

    1. You're very welcome, Janna. Please let me know how it goes and any adjustments you make. There's no recipe on earth that can't be improved.:)

  2. I think I just drooled all over my keyboard. Thanks for today's food for thought, Sloane! Love the wine suggestion, but then, I love any of your wine suggestions! Cheers!

    1. LOL Sharon, people are going to think we're booze hounds.:)

    2. Aw, Sloane, who would thing that? ;-)

      I'm also in love with your recipe and I intend to make it soon as we get a chicken in the house. I don't have to cook much anymore, but I do when I see a recipe that sounds too good to miss.

      XOXO, Beth

    3. Think that, not thing that. Editor, OH EDITOR!!!

    4. You're a stitch, Beth! I know a good editor, but she moved to Washington state.:)

      Glad you like the recipe. Please share any alterations you make. And stop bragging about how you don't have to cook. lol