Pollo Alla Cacciatora


Serves 2.

Time requirement: about 30 minutes preparation, including time to marinade the chicken, and another 40 minutes to cook.

What you will need:

2 large chicken thighs, 7-8 ounces each.

6 rosemary sprigs, each about 3 inches long.

2 garlic cloves peeled.

1 shallot sliced.

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

2 tablespoons olive oil.

1 anchovy fillet, chopped.

1½ tablespoon small capers packed in salt, rinsed.

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon white wine. (Or substitute ¼ cup fresh lemon juice for the wine).

½ cup water.

1 cup diced tomatoes with juice.

½ pound pasta to accompany the chicken.

Preparation:

Marinate the chicken: In a bowl place the chicken thighs, rosemary stems, garlic cloves, sliced shallots, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix everything together and marinade for 30-90 minutes. Stir occasionally.

When the time comes to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off any of the shallots, rosemary, or garlic that might cling to the chicken. Remove the rosemary from the marinade and discard all but one stem; strip the leaves from that stem and chop them finely. Return the chopped leaves to the marinade.

Place a 10-12-inch sauté pan (one that has a cover) over a medium low heat. Place the chicken in the pan skin side down. Cook the chicken, covered, for about 8-12 minutes or until it is well browned. Keep the cover slightly askew so the chicken does not steam.

As the chicken cooks, the will fat run, when it does, take the two garlic cloves out of the marinade and add them to the pan. Watch the heat under the pan. Maintain a gentle heat so not to burn the garlic; it must not burn but only brown. If the garlic looks like it might burn, remove it and add it back to the marinade.

When the chicken skin is golden, turn the chicken over and cook for 3-4 minutes. Again, cook with the cover askew. Now turn the chicken skin side up. Add the marinade to the pan along with the capers and chopped anchovy. Cook while stirring and mashing the anchovy for ½ minute. Add the white wine (or lemon juice) and half the water. Set the cover on the pan, slightly askew, so the wine and water mostly evaporate as the chicken cooks. Cook the chicken 10 minutes. Remove the cover, add the diced tomato and any accumulating juices and the remaining water, Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. If the sauce thickens too much, thin it as it cooks with some of the water from the boiling pasta.

Serve the chicken in warm bowls with pasta that you dress with the sauce.

Alternative: Replace the rosemary with fresh oregano.

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