Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Hunters Chicken

Can I just get one thing straight, don't be fooled into thinking that as a family we sit down each night for a civilised meal. Tonight was like a war zone, food literally flying across the kitchen, tears and arguing amongst the children. It's not like that every night, it's just they are at that age.  Anyway that out of the way, this is my interpretation of a meal I had at my Italian friend Silvias house. When we go for dinner we are treated to an endless feast of food inspired from the area she comes from in Italy.  Always delicious and always very full when I come home. I hope this recipe isn't an insult to the original Chicken Cacciatore. It has become a regular meal in our house and probably one of Steves favourites. I guess it's a good way of using up vegetables in the fridge. Tonight I added an orange pepper that I had left over, I think in future I will just stick to the ingredients below. Don't be put off by the dried porcini mushrooms, they are available in most supermarkets.

Serves 4
Preparation time 20 min, cooking time 45 min
1 meduim onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
25g dried porcini mushrooms (covered in boiling water to rehydrate)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
4 rashers of smoked bacon or pancetta, chopped into small pieces
pack of chicken thigh fillets
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of dried chilli flakes
fresh or dried herbs, oregano or rosemary
150ml red wine
salt and pepper

Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan or casserole dish 
and add 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the onion and cook until golden and soft.  Add the garlic and chopped bacon until cooked.  Add the chicken pieces until browned.  Add the red wine, tomatoes, chilli, balsamic vinegar and the herbs. Pour in the rehydrated mushrooms and the liquid they have been soaked in.  Bring up to simmering point then cover and cook for at least 45 min.  I don't think you can overcook this meal.  Check the seasoning at the end of the cooking time and serve with some lovely mashed potato and some green vegetables.  Would also be good with pasta.

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