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Pollo y Salame alla Cacciatora

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    Posted: 22 August 2010 at 05:27
I've been dealing with a hankering for a good cacciatore recently, and given the lousy weather scheduled for us the next few days, it looks like I'll be cooking indoors.

I did a little research just for the fun of it, and found that (as I assumed) "cacciatore" translated means "hunter", and refers to game being prepared in the field. The original cacciatore was a rich man's dish, as  only people wealthy enough were able to hunt.  The original dish was more than likely prepared with rabbit rather than chicken, and probably contained no mushrooms or peppers or garlic  whatsoever.


One of my favorite cookbooks, "The Silver Spoon" is considered by most to be the bible of Italian cooking, and it's sole recipe for cacciatore is as follows:

Chicken Cacciatore
serves 4

1 chicken, cut up
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion
6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 flat leaf parsley sprig, chopped
salt
pepper

Put the chicken in a flameproof casserole with the butter, oil and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring and turning frequently, for about 15 minutes until browned. Add the tomatoes, carrot and celery, put in 2/3 cup water, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through and tender. Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper. This is the simplest way to prepare chicken cacciatore - in some regions more celery or carrots are added, in others white wine is used instead of water or stock, and in still others sliced mushrooms are added.


Well today I will be doing "pollo y salame all cacciatore", or "chicken and sausage hunter style", and will do it basically in the slow cooker and serve it over pasta later today while we watch the little league world series.

I started out by dredging the chicken in seasoned flour and knocking off the excess, then browned it in some olive oil.




Then I sliced a large Vidalia onion and lined the bottom of the slow cooker with it, while the chicken was browning.



Then cut up the peppers into slices while the sweet Italian sausage was browning




Quartered the mushrooms and added them to the peppers, along with a teaspoon each of basil and oregano, and a teaspoon of finely minced garlic,  then mixed in a large can of crushed tomatoes and poured it over the chicken and sausage which was layered over the onions in the slow cooker.



Cooked on High for 4.5 hours, then served with spaghetti and chowed down...it was very tasty.

Here's the recipe as it should be...all together



Chicken and sausage Cacciatore
Serves: 4
I do this in the slow cooker, but stovetop braising would work just as well.

   2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
   1 lb sweet Italian sausages
   1 teaspoon dried basil
   1 teaspoon dried oregano
   1 clove minced garlic
   1 green green bell pepper
   1 red bell pepper
   8 ounces fresh mushrooms
   1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
   1 lb spaghetti cooked al dente
   1 large sweet onions, sliced
   Freshly grated
   Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
   1/2 cup all purpose flour
   1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


__________________________________
Dredge chicken in flour seasoned with salt and pepper...shake off excess.

Heat olive oil in large heavy skillet, and brown chicken breasts over medium high heat.

Remove chicken when browned, and add sweet italian sausage to brown.

Slice onion, quarter mushrooms and slice peppers while meat is browning.

Lay onions on bottom of large slow cooker.

Place browned chicken and sausage atop onions.

Mix peppers, mushrooms, garlic, basil, oregano and tomatoes together and spread atop meats in slow cooker.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours, and serve atop hot spaghetti with grated parmesan.





Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Program from DVO Enterprises.






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2010 at 14:43
THAT is one beautiful plate of Italian Deliciousness! Clap Perfectly done post, too....very nice process steps and easy to follow directions for anyone. Now you got me dying for some again. I love the idea of putting the sausages in there, never done that before~ I'm sure the flavour they added was close to a heavenly mix. Your post reminded me how great food can be so simple to make; it's a wonder why we do not do that more often. Once the weather cools down from this summer we're having, I'd like to give your recipe a go; your cacciatore is certainly a cooler weather dish that'll warm a belly! Thanks for sharing it, Dave.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 August 2010 at 07:21
yes indeed, that looks wonderful! excellent post!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2010 at 03:07
Originally posted by Rivet Rivet wrote:

I love the idea of putting the sausages in there, never done that before~ I'm sure the flavour they added was close to a heavenly mix.


The sausage idea was one I actually developed at the firehouse years ago due to it's low cost, and ability to stay warm for long periods without deteriorating (very important when the bell rings at lunchtime) I got used to the idea, and it does impart flavors of fennel and red pepper, anything that is in the sausage. At the fire house we would use sausage as the only meat in the dish.
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