Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore is one of my favorite chicken dishes.  Recently, I made this classic dish for my husband and it was a huge success.  I love the mushroom, onion and tomato topping to the dish, and the moist, delicious chicken.  This is a great family dinner recipe that I am sure we will be making again soon.

Chicken Cacciatore (recipe adopted from Bon Appetit)
1 1/2 lbs plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about four cups)
8 oz crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
5 T olive oil
2 T sherry vinegar
1 4 lb medium sized chicken, cut into eight pieces
1 1/2 T chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth (I used a bit more than the recipe called for)
1/3 cup thinly sliced basil

Preheat the oven to 400.  Combine the plum tomatoes, mushrooms and red onion in a large bowl.  Add 3 T of the oil and the vinegar, and toss to blend.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast for about fifty minutes until tender.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary (reserving a half tablespoon).  Heat the remaining oil in a skillet or dutch oven and add the chicken and saute until golden brown, about five minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to bowl, and add wine to skillet and boil until reduced by half, about one minute, scraping up the brown bits.  Add the canned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Return the chicken into the sauce and place in the oven, uncovered for about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir in the roasted vegetables, remaining 1/2 T rosemary and half the basil.  Simmer until vegetables are heated through and serve hot, topping with remaining basil.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Greek Pizzettes with Haloumi and Fig

We recently visited my mom and stepdad in Rochester, NY (great time of year to go somewhere that cold, I know).  I always enjoy cooking with my mom when we visit each other, and this trip was no exception.  We made a couple of great new recipes together, including this pizzette recipe, and plenty of dumplings and a chocolate swirl cheesecake.  My mom shared this great pizzette recipe for little Greek pizzas made on pitas.  They were delicious and make a great appetizer or main course.

Mom's Greek Pizzettes (makes 4)
4 pocketless pitas
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup fig jam
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs haloumi cheese, thinly sliced
8 dried figs, chopped
2 cups baby arugula

Preheat the oven to 350.  Brush olive oil on both sides of the pocketless pitas.  Toast in the oven for about ten minutes until the pitas are lightly browned.  Spread the fig jam on the pitas on one side.  We used a delicious onion-fig jam from Wegmans, the best grocery store on the planet. Top each pizzette with the haloumi cheese and broil for about 3-5 minutes just briefly to melt the halumi.  Take the rest of the olive oil and mix with the lemon juice, oregano and arugula.  Top the pizzettes with the arugula and chopped figs and serve.  Yum!

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