Gourmet Valentines? Try this: Pollo alla Cacciatora – Chicken Cacciatora

You may know by now that I am a savory kinda girl. So instead of posting a dessert I decided that I would post one of the most mouthwatering, amazingly delicious dish I have ever had the pleasure of eating for my Valentines Day recipe. I love this dish and it requires no time so you can still get all dolled up and ready for dinner while the house is filling with this amazing aroma of Pollo alla Cacciatora.

This is a perfect deep luscious red, sophisticated, amazingly gourmet but yet simple, healthy, effortless and delicious dish. This is a perfect dish if you have/want to impress anyone or if you want to finally feel proud that you can actually put something this delicious, succulent and amazing on a dish!
I bought the famous Artusi cookbook not too long ago “La scienza in Cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene”, “The science of cooking and the Art of eating well”. He’s known for the best Italian recipes bringing us back to the way it was prepared once upon a time. He’s cookbook was published back in 1891 and perfected in 1911 with a total of 790 recipes (for more click on above Artusi link). So, this is a recipe I got from there, only difference is that I used a shallot instead of an onion.

It only requires 4 ingredients (besides salt and pepper of course) and really is just delicious. I for some reason wasn’t able to get any good pictures because the smell that filled the house made both my husband and I incredibly impatient and extremely ravenous. But make this and I promise that you will not be disappointed.

I think that it would be a perfect dish to serve for Valentines Day if you are planning on cooking something for your love. It won’t leave you feeling heavy…wink, wink; and will leave you and whomever you served it to feeling that it was much better to stay home and eat this than go out and eat something crappy, not delicious set-menu because it is Valentines Day. No way! This will knock your socks off.

I got some fresh baked bread so that we could do ‘scarpetta’ which is used in reference to cleaning up the sauce on your plate with bread. Accompanied by a nice green salad dressed in olive oil.
However, you could accompany this dish with polenta, rice, potatoes, or whatever you like.

I hope that you truly enjoy this dish as much as we did. Happy Valentines Day. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Shallots, chopped finely*

1 small Chicken, chopped in pieces

½ cup of Red wine, pick SanGiovese or at least something good (this is the secret to this dish)

½ cup Tomato Sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Put a medium to large skillet on medium-high flame with about 4 tablespoons of Olive oil, once the oil is hot add your shallots and allow to get translucent. Now scoop out the shallot and transfer to a plate, set aside.

Get your chicken, and place skin down onto the skillet, salt and pepper and once skin is golden flip and salt and pepper as well, cook for another 5-8 minutes and then add your shallot back in the skillet, followed by the wine and the tomato sauce. Mix around a bit, cover and allow to cook for about 40 minutes flipping the chicken once.

Now remove the lid and cook for about another 10 -15 minutes. Your chicken should be cooked, tender and juicy and your sauce thickened. Serve.

*If you don’t have shallots you can use one onion

Sage wrapped Low-Fat stuffed Chicken Breasts

The winter is well on its way and I feel like heart-warming meals without all the added calories and heavy ingredients. As you all know by now there are 2 things that I absolutely love 1. Chicken (especially my husband, he literally could eat chicken everyday) 2. Veggies (I will find a way to incorporate them in all my meals).

During the summer it’s always grilled chicken. It’s light , tastes delicious and most of all easy and fast. However in the winter I feel more like staying inside away from the cold and also don’t really crave a grilled anything for that matter. It’s hard sometimes to try to make chicken inside on the stove top without it tasting absolutely boring. I’ve decided that no matter what I won’t cave in to millions of ingredients in one dish just to give it flavor, there are so many natural herbs and spices that can give your meals incredible flavor and bring out the best of your meals, without overpowering a dish.
The other morning I was craving stuffed chicken breasts and thought that I would need to go to the store for some cheese and whatever else inspired me to put in it. However, the thought became an absolute ‘no way am I going out in this cold for some cheese and stuff’, like always I opened the fridge and saw that I had some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, some artichokes in olive oil and some fresh sliced mushrooms. Perfect this was going to work. I will say that I did have some Parmigiano Reggiano but I opted to leave out the cheese and see how a stuffed chicken breast with no cheese would taste.

I also have a wonderful Sage plant outside and I love the warming, eloquent, subtle flavor it gives when added to food. It has wonderful health benefits, it helps cure gastrointestinal disorders, muscle spasms and cramps, gingivitis, it helps regulate blood sugar and improves digestion. It’s full of Antioxidants that help with the aging process. And it’s an Anti-inflammatory agent for people with inflammatory issues such as but not limited to Rheumatoid arthritis. So yeah, it’s good for ya; and I decided that it would be the only seasoning herb for the chicken.
Here in Italy people incorporate it to meals quite a bit, whether its soups, sauces, meats, stews, etc… let me say that it really does compliment a dish when used correctly.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe it’s really simple and so delicious. Accompany it with whatever you like, a salad, roasted vegetables, steamed vegetables, rice, quinoa, couscous, potatoes or anything else you can come up with. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless Chicken breasts

8 Sun-dried Tomatoes, in Extra Virgin Olive OIl

8 Artichoke quarters, in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 slices of Mushrooms

2-3 fresh sprigs of Sage, or 14 leaves

2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 pieces Parchment paper, big enough to wrap each breast individually

8 pieces cooking Twine, about 4in. long

 

Preheat your oven at 350°.

Grab your chicken breasts and butterfly. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.  Now layer 4 pc. of sun-dried Tomatoes, followed by 4 slices of Mushrooms, followed by 4 pc. of Artichokes. Now close your chicken, cover the top nicely with half the sage leaves, salt and pepper.
Get 4 pc. of Twine and carefully slide one by one under the breast and then tieing at the top until the whole breast is securely tied. Lay one piece of parchment paper out and place your chicken in the center, drizzle 1 tsp of Olive oil and then close your parchment paper as if making a little doggie bag. Place in baking tray and repeat the same with other breast.

Bake for 25 minutes and then carefully open the paper, start with sides as some steam may leave and you’ll get burnt. Cut twine off and place nicely on dish. Buon Appetito