Thursday, July 14, 2011

Old Friends and Good Food -- Chicken Cacciatore




I often feel lonely in Western Massachusetts. It's not because I don't have friends, I do, but I have very busy friends. Somehow my boyfriend became my entire social life, and his friends became my friends, and now that I'm newly single'd I keep getting that lonely feeling creeping up on me. I'm learning to be by myself and it's rough. Once the play is over it'll be even rougher, since I won't have something to do every night.


However, to avoid the lonely feeling I'm really trying my best to reconnect with old friends in the area. Last night I met up with my friend John, who happens to be my oldest friend (since preschool, wow!). The plan was to have an impromptu dinner party with an Italian theme and have good food, wine, and conversation with whoever wanted to attend.

See, the problem with "impromptu" and "busy friends" is that a dinner party with little notice doesn't have a great attendance.

Or, any really. It was just us two.

Roasted veggies, also by John

But two food lovers in a lovely kitchen with a kick-ass camera (borrowed from his mom) is always a good time. John always made cakes in high school on anyone's birthday--yellow butter cake with chocolate icing was always a favorite. I remember one time he sculpted a duck out of buckeye ingredients for a friend's birthday but his grandfather ate the head off it before he could give it to her.

John's herbed foccacia
We did end up meeting some friends downtown after. We'll definitely be doing the dinner party thing again in the future, but hopefully with better planning and more friends to share our culinary talents with. Possibly with a different theme--perhaps Sandwiches or Tacos so I can use some of the great new cookbooks Lisa sent me!

Cacciatore was all me though ;)
About this dish: Adapted from my friend's blog The Skinny Guinea, which I really wish he'd update more, or ever since the last post was four years ago, because this guy knows his stuff. I cooked this ALL. THE. TIME. in college. It's a great one-skillet dish, and tastes so dang classy. And the fact that it only takes 1/4 cup of wine leaves you the rest of the bottle to share with friends :)

Lazy Chicken Cacciatore
(Adapted slightly from The Skinny Guinea)
  • 2 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts

  • 3 Large Cloves of Garlic

  • 3 Stalks of Green Onion (or 1/2 Yellow Onion)
  • 
1 Small can of Diced Tomatoes or about two cups freshly chopped
  • 
1/2 Yellow Pepper
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Handful of Fresh Italian Parsley

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (you can sub for plain yogurt but I like the thickness of the sour cream)
  • 1 box pasta of your choosing (spiral or penne is the way to go, I think)
  • 
Olive Oil
  • 1 small handful of Sun Dried Tomatoes

  • 1 tsp of Capers
  • 
1/4 cup of white wine



-Prepare the pasta according to package and prep your veggies, open the tomatoes, open the wine.


-

Heat up the olive oil in a large pan on medium high and add the green onions. Once they are translucent, add the garlic.* 

When the garlic is just starting to change color, add the sun-dried tomatoes.

 Let the sun-dried tomatoes start to soften, then add the peppers and mushrooms.

-Stir frequently. When the garlic is golden brown, add the tomatoes. 

Let the tomatoes simmer for a minute or two and add the white wine when everything is hot again. Let the water cook off for a few minutes.

When there's little water left, push all the vegetables to the outside of the pan, leaving an empty hole in the center. Add your raw chicken to that space.


-Stir the chicken in its own little center until all the pieces are cooked on the outside. Add the capers and parsley and mix everything together. Let this simmer for a few more minutes until the chicken has fully cooked. Change to low heat and mix in the sour cream.** Serve over pasta!


*ok, so EVERY TIME I use green over yellow, adding them at this point means that by the end I will have brown onions. So when I remember, I won't add them until later on so that they keep their color and crispness. If using yellow, I add them first as per the recipe. Why I care so much about the onions when they are my least favorite food I cannot explain.


**So the sour cream is the one thing I forgot here. I compromised by pouring in just a little milk, and adding a cornstarch and water mixture little by little until the sauce thickened. This worked pretty well and probably shaved off a calorie or two.

3 comments:

  1. Quality not quantity! Remember that. In the meantime, awesome chicken dish!

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  2. What a great opportunity you have to re-connect with old friends and to spend more time with new ones. I know the place where I felt the lonliest in the world turned out to be the favorite place I've lived. Hope things continue to look up for you. Great looking chicken, by the way!

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  3. Great writeup! I don't think I've made this dish for a couple years, but I'm inspired to make it again soon. :)

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