Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garden Pickin' for my Chicken

My tomatoes have finally decided to let themselves go and ripen! it's about friggen time! Seriously, I can feel the chill in the air at night and I know that frost will be upon us sooner than later. I spent last week on vacation and was thrilled to come home to ripened tomatoes. Hubby had his first garden tomato sandwich of the year (he was so very happy!) and I finally go to do some cooking with them. This time around it was my first attempt and chicken cacciatore. I know it's hard to believe that I have never made this before but it was never one of my favorites due to the green peppers that are usually in it. I like green peppers but prefer them raw. My motivation for this dish was the fact that I had EVERYTHING I needed on hand so it seemed that fate was guiding me to make this dish. I used red peppers instead on green and boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of cut up fryer pieces. I know using pieces probably would have lended more flavor to the dish and is more authentic but I have to say going this route really showcased the fresh tomatoes. It was delicious. I am so happy we have leftovers! Here is the general method I used. As usual, all measurements are relative since I am a throw it in and taste as you go kind of cook!

Erika's Chicken Breast Cacciatore

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, filleted into 2-3 thin cutlets each
Flour for dredging
3-4 Tbs oil, for frying
1 C white wine
1/2 large Vidalia Onion
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
2-3 medium to large tomatoes, cored and rough chopped
4-5 baby portobella mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Once chicken is filleted, dredge in flour and fry in oil in a deep pan until browned on both sides. Fry in batches if need be. Remove chicken and reserve on plate. If chicken is not completely cooked through it is OK it will be returned to the pan later.

Deglaze pan with wine, scraping off and bits from the bottom of the pan,

Add onion and peppers to pan and saute until almost cooked through.

Add mushrooms, garlic and tomatoes. Continue cooking until tomatoes begin to break down.

Return chicken pieces to pot and cover. Allow to simmer over medium-low heat for 10-20 minutes. Add water if sauce appears too thick (Use pasta cooking liquid if available).

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta with generous amounts of Parmesan and/or Romano Cheese.

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