Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Play on Chicken Cacciatore

Many of you are familiar with the old fashioned way of making chicken cacciatore. The hubs and I are trying to use up veggies and food from our pantry so we decided to use some of our yummy tomato, orange jam with basil and saffron. Also, I am pretty sure no self respecting Italian would EVER admit this, but instead of using pasta, we had a spaghetti squash that we needed to use up, so we served this yummy recipe over squash instead of pasta! Grandpa please forgive me!!!

6 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
10 mushrooms, sliced
1 leek, sliced
4 ribs celery, chopped
9 mini peppers, red/orange/yellow, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 blood oranges, juiced
1/2 cup wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 32oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste

Prepare all of your vegetables (I always think of Ann Burell on the Food Network, mis en place people!!)

My beautiful blood oranges w/ 1 wanna be. Hims looked like he was a bit young when they picked him!
My beautiful blood oranges w/ 1 wanna be. Hims looked like he was a bit young when they picked him! Have your hubs grill the chicken (not completely) just charred on both sides. Bring in and let rest. Then slice in strips. In a large Dutch oven, add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Bring up to medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and saute till translucent. Add the celery and red peppers and cook for about 7 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms. Cook for about 7 more minutes. Use the juice from the blood oranges to deglaze the pan. Add the wine and the chicken stock and all of the spices, including the tomato paste, the diced tomatoes, and the tomato jam. Bring up to a boil, and then reduce to a low boil and let cook for about 20 minutes. Once you hit the 20 minute mark, add the chicken into the sauce to cook all the way through. Let simmer for about 10 more minutes. Serve over spaghetti squash or pasta!

Tomato Orange Jam with Basil and Saffron

The hubs and I are on a mission to use stuff from our pantry along with fresh veggies and meat. This past summer I made this excellent Jam from a preserve cookbook my mom gave me. I mentioned it in my pineapple and mint post and I used it again. I got this recipe from 250 Home Preserving Favorites and we both fell in love with this recipe. You can use it on pork, chicken or what I did. I will be posting a play on chicken cacciatore using this jam. I hope you all enjoy it. If you aren't big on canning, I am sure you can just pair the recipe down and actually make enough for one or two servings. 

2 cups sweet onions, thinly sliced
¾ cup shallots, finely chopped
¼ cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups Roma tomatoes, finely chopped, peeled and seeded
1 tbsp orange rind, finely grated
¾ cup oranges, chopped and peeled
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ tsp saffron threads
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
12 tsp dried oregano
1 pkg powdered pectin
4 cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar

In a Dutch oven, combine onions, shallots and water. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until very soft. Stir in garlic; cook for a couple more minutes stirring often. Stir in tomatoes, orange rind, oranges and lemon juice. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently, uncovered for about 15 minutes. Make sure you stir often to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Stir in saffron, basil and oregano and continue to boil gently for about 5 minutes. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring often. Stir in both sugars and return to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle into sterilized jars to within ½ inch of rim. Wipe rims and apply prepared lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set.