Skip to comments.Weekly Cooking (and things related) Thread
Posted on 02/11/2015 6:01:42 PM PST by Jamestown1630
(A little early this week, because I have a couple of busy days coming up.)
In the memoir that Julia Child wrote in collaboration with her husband's great-nephew, the story of the revelatory meal in Rouen that started Julia on her life's work is recounted ('My Life in France', Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme, 2006).
I believe that anyone who has become seriously interested in food and the art of cooking has had a moment like that: the one meal that made you realize that there was a LOT more to eating and cooking than you had previously known.
For me, it was my father's recipe for Chicken Cacciatore, when I was about 13 years old.
In our household, my Grandmother was the cook; and she was an excellent Tidewater-raised cook when it came to basic things like Chicken Pot Pie, Pot Roast, Birthday Cakes, Yeast-Raised Rolls and Bread, Thanksgiving Dinner. But nothing 'exotic'; she curiously didn't even do much with fresh fish or shellfish. And I don't think I ever saw her cook with garlic, or with a bell pepper, or olive oil - until the night my Daddy came home with a recipe that he had enjoyed with friends.
I can still remember the amazing smell of garlic bread, toasting in the oven; and green bell peppers sizzling with onions in olive oil on the range. I had never smelled these things before! and I had certainly never seen a bottle of Chianti in the house, all wrapped-up in its raffia. (Daddy was a spirit drinker ;-)
That night, Daddy coached, and Granny cooked; and the result was amazing. (Adding to the wonderful food, was the fact that I was allowed to drink a few sips of the Chianti, and feel VERY sophisticated :-)
My husband and I have tried many times to re-create this recipe. Each time, I say, "We're getting closer!" At times, we've even used canned mushrooms and Pompeian olive oil to try and get closer, because those were the items that my folks could have bought in the local grocery store, in the 1960s.
But, we've never really gotten there - and I don't think we ever will. You simply can't re-create the experience of tasting something strange and wonderful for the very first time.
But, here we are, as far as we've been able to duplicate it. This is based on a recipe that I found online, and with which we've been 'fiddling'. It's a very forgiving recipe. I always add extra garlic, a little more olive oil, etc. And we always use skin-on, bone-in chicken, and remove the skin after browning. (Most recipes you'll find now call for 'boneless-skinless' - and they taste like it, too.)
Daddy's Chicken Cacciatore
5 lbs. Chicken Thighs with skin and bone (or a 5 lb chicken cut-up)
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large green bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced (or: More Cow Bell!)
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes WITH juice
3 T. Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then dredge the pieces in the flour.
In a large pot, heat the oil, add the chicken pieces to the pan and brown over high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Don't over-crowd; brown in batches.
Remove the chicken to a plate. When cool, remove the skin and discard it. (Unless you're a fan of rubbery Chick-Skin)
Add the chopped bell peppers and onion to the same pan and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. (I'm not giving amounts of salt and pepper, but encouraging tasting as you go.)
Add the chicken pieces back to the pot with the mushrooms.
Bring the pot to a simmer and cook, covered, over low heat for about 1-1/2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning again if necessary.
This is often served over pasta, or rice; but as I recall, we just had lots of garlic bread to sop up the wonderful juices. (My folks used to make the garlic bread with the garlic "butter" that was sold in glass jars; but I haven't seen that available in many years. It was probably some kind of margarine, anyway; so that can be improved upon.)
If any of you have recipes for Chicken Cacciatore that you enjoyed in the late-1950s to 1960s, please post them!
Love Jezebel sauce with ham.
Oh, that’s excellent! We’re still able to get a pretty good deal on bulk (5 pound) ground at the local butcher and it’s very good stuff but lately t-bones and rib eyes have been out of the question. Sure do miss eating dead cow.....
“What are the titles of the cookbooks?”
“Half Crocked” Spiral-bound
“Slow Cooking for Two: A Slow Cooker Cookbook with 101 Slow Cooker Recipes Designed for Two People”
Thanks, Kalee. Never thought to look for canned. The type purchased prior was in a jar, similar to Mt. Olive pickles. Would you happen to know the brand of the candied jalapenos? Will look next time to see if they might be found. TIA
A couple of other threads on recipes showed up today:
I had never heard of ‘Beer-Cheddar Soup’. Is it made a lot in Wisconsin? But I do like Welsh ‘rabbit’.
I think I want to try it.
We were pretty lucky. Got on the list last summer. They don’t do a bulk business. Mostly the extra from what they raise for themselves and their adult kids. My daughter has bought eggs and milk from them for years.
The Husband’s health is not so good, so last summer they sold off their dairy herd, so daughter will have to find another trusted source for the dairy.
Had a couple of chicken legs and gave your recipe a try...came out great. I seasoned the flour with Lawrys salt and some fresh ground black pepper.
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