Chicken Cacciatore and penne
On Saturday we were hungry for Italian food after a visit to the Italian Grocer. We decided to make chicken cacciatore and baked penne with eggplant and tomato. The chicken cacciatore was very good, and I give it my highest rating - 5 heads exploding out of 5. This is a recipe that simply must be tried. If you're not into the whole eggplant thing you could serve this with just about anything. Acorn squash would be good, fettucini alfredo would be good, a slice of pizza margherita would even be good. The possibilities are endless. The chicken could even be made by my readers in Ledyard, who have access to a country store. I'm going to have to pay a visit there soon.
4 chicken breasts
1 32-36 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with a potato masher (I got a can of La Belle San Marzano from the Italian grocer but you could use just about anything)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 can chicken broth (14 oz or thereabouts)
1 cup white wine (serve the rest with dinner)
a few dashes dried oregano leaves
a few dashes of dried basil
a few cloves of garlic, minced
Heat some olive oil (or whatever if you can't get olive oil) in a skillet to very hot. Brown each of the chicken breasts on both sides and remove to a plate. Saute the onions, green pepper, red pepper, and garlic. When they begin to soften add the wine,mushrooms, tomatoes, broth and spices. Return the chicken to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about a half hour to 45 minutes until the sauce thickens up to a stew consistancy.
Baked Penne with eggplant and tomato
penne pasta (or similar)
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 32 to 34 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with a potato masher
2 or more cloves minced garlic
a dash of dried oregano leaves
a dash of dried basil leaves
Heat a skillet with some olive oil. Saute the mushrooms, eggplant and tomato until beginning to soften. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except the pasta, which you have hopefully boiled in salted water.) Cook, covered, for 15 minutes at a low simmer. Dump the penne into a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top and stir. Top the whole mess with mozzarella and bake in the oven, covered, at 350 until the cheese melts or until your chicken cacciatore finishes, hopefully not longer than 45 minutes.