Monday, 11 November 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

I have been looking back through a few archives (i.e. my many many scraps of paper that I hurriedly write recipes down on while I'm cooking - followed by trawling through thousands of photos trying to find the picture that matches up! I must come up with a system!) and have found some great recipes that need to be shared.

This yummy chicken cacciatore was a great hit, and an easy meal. The bulk of the cooking time is in the oven which frees you up to do other things. You could also make this in a slow cooker for a real time saver - simply put all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning on low and come home to the divine smells that emanate from this dish! 

We had the meal with steamed broccoli, carrots and baked kumara and potatoes (one or the other is fine depending on your preference, but hubby and I prefer kumara, one child only eats potatoes and one likes both so I tend to make a bit of each just to cover all the bases!). The meal would be ideal with mashed kumara or potato (or any kind of mash would work well), however I kept the kumara and potato whole as my kids have an aversion to mashed anything. The mash would be great to absorb the delicious sauce from the casserole.

To make the meal a little more summery, serve it with a gorgeous green salad full of vibrant vegetables, and whip up a batch of avocado bread to mop up some of those gorgeous juices. 

Chicken Cacciatore

(Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free)

1kg chicken drumsticks
6 strips of bacon (whichever cut you prefer) preferable a chemical free variety such as Hendersons or one from your local farmers market
1/8 cup tapioca flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh rosemary 
1 tbsp fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 eggplant
1 red capsicum
1 cup silverbeet or kale
2 tbsp capers
10 olives (green or black)

1. Preheat oven to 150C
2. Heat oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan
3. Dust chicken with tapioca flour (this is easiest in a large bowl or large snap lock bag)
4. Place the chicken in the frying pan and fry until nicely browned. You may need to do two batches as you don't want to overcrowd the pan otherwise the chicken will not brown well.
5. When chicken is browned, remove from the pan and place in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Set to one side
6. In the same frying pan you used for the chicken, add the onion and garlic gently fry over a medium heat until softened and aromatic. Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes to brown slightly. Add the bacon, garlic and onions to the casserole pan with the chicken. If the onion sticks to the pan with the chicken juices, add a little of the chicken stock to de-glaze the pan and loosen up all of the bits that are stuck.
7. To the casserole dish, add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, herbs, vinegar, capers, olives, eggplant and capsicum. Cover and place in the oven for 1-1.5 hours. During the cooking time, check the pot a couple of times to make sure that all of the ingredients are sitting in the liquid so that you get even cooking. 
8. Ten minutes before you serve, add the silverbeet of kale and mix well to combine. Put the lid back on and pop back in the oven for 5-10 minutes. 
9. Remove from the oven and check that the chicken is cooked through before serving (juices should run clear). You should not need to add any salt as the capers, olives and bacon are salty already, but you may like to add a touch of black pepper.
10. Serve with steamed green vegetables and roasted or mashed kumara or cauliflower if you prefer.