SERVES 4 TO 6
Chicken Cacciatore, hunter-style chicken, is one of those homey Italian dishes that tastes better made a day or two ahead. Cut up bone-in pieces of chicken are usually what is used, but here is a speedy version that cooks in less than thirty minutes, using boned chicken breasts cut into strips. Nice side dishes to serve with the chicken include rice, pasta, potatoes or polenta. To save time, use a food processor to mince and dice.
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or more
6 boned chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch-wide strips
1 onion, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup white wine
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine the salt, celery seeds, oregano, pepper, and pepper flakes in a plastic bag. Add the chicken strips, close the bag and shake to coat them in the mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold the breast strips in a single layer. If you don't have a large enough pan, brown them in batches.
As they brown, transfer them to a dish. Add the onion, garlic, celery and green pepper to the pan and cook until the mixture softens.
Raise the heat to high and pour in the wine and allow most of it to evaporate. Lower the heat and stir in the tomatoes and lemon juice. Return the chicken strips with their juices to the pan. Cover and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate. Reheat slowly.
Variation: Packaged, fresh sliced mushrooms make a nice addition, as does 1 cup of frozen peas. Add the mushrooms with the celery; add the peas five minutes before the chicken is done.
Thinking Ahead: Buy and freeze extra chicken breasts to have on hand. Onions and garlic can be minced in batches, wrapped well in plastic wrap and also frozen for future use.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA PRONTO by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2005.
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