18 February 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

This dish (which I remembered to photograph!) has a long and obscure history. Before I moved to Korea, I spent quite a lot of time on the BBC Good Food website, and noticed that the chicken cacciatore was always high on their list of chicken dishes. For some reason I never made it, and after I read Niki Segnit's scathing opinion of it, I never really wanted to.

But yesterday at work, I was trying to come up with a dinner. I wanted something simple, something spicy, and would have preferred it to have a name that I could practise writing in shorthard. (I'm just about to start a distance-learning journalism course, with any luck, and I thought I'd give myself a headstart, given that I've got to be able to write 100 words per minute by November.) Cacciatore worked, at least from what I remembered of it (chicken, tomatoes, cream, bake).

The dish was simple and good. I served it with mashed sweet potato and cauliflower.

Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 2

2 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 large chilli
1 sprig parsley
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup cream
Chilli powder

Slice the onion into crescents and then cut the crescents in half. Finely dice the garlic, chilli and parsley, and heat with oil on the stove, in a dish that you can transfer later to the oven.

Season the flour and dip the chicken in this to coat. Once the onion is softened, add the chicken to the pan.

Once the chicken is browned on both sides, add two cups of tomato sauce and season liberally with salt, pepper and chilli powder. Place in the oven at 180 degrees (360 Fahrenheit) for twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes, remove the chicken from the oven. Stir the half-cup of cream through the sauce, and return to the oven at the same temperature for a further ten minutes.

Serve with mashed sweet potato and cauliflower, or potatoes roasted with rosemary, or short pasta - whatever you feel will soak up the flavours best.