Thanks for all the likes and comments on my cooking adventures we post on Facebook! I love to cook and I love how it relaxes me and takes my mind off my real work for a while. But what I really love is the immediate satisfaction it gives me feeding and nourishing my family and friends. After all, architecture takes some time!
Let's add the fact I am a Food Network groupie. I love the Food Network - no one ever gets hurt or cries, or gets killed. Every show ends on a happy note and everyone is eating great food in a beautiful setting. I love having the Food Network on while I catch up on work on Saturday and Sunday mornings. A recipe or idea always catches my eye and by noon I'm thinking of some fun and savory thing to make and who Isabel and I can have over. Sometimes it's a romantic dinner for just Isabel and I, and on the other hand sometimes I'm cooking for two or three dozen. I did both this week! My favorite though is cooking for Isabel and my girls One of my girls' favorite is my chicken cacciatore.
It's a simple recipe and really based on my paella recipe which I also made this week for a party of 12 who won my dinner for 12 as a silent auction item benefitting my client's organization, Asian Pacific Community in Action. Yes it was a busy week ;-)!
So here it is - I urge you to make it for the family. It's delicious and easy. Let me know if you give it a try!
3 Chicken Legs
3 Chicken Thighs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons of paprika
Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sausage of your choice - I like a spicy andouille sausage.
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 Spanish onion - diced
4 stalks of celery - sliced into 1/2" pieces
4 carrots - sliced into 1/2" pieces
8 ounce box of white or cremini mushrooms sliced.
1-1/2 cups of wine - dry white wine like a Pinot Gregio or you can go red like a Baraolo
1 - 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 -1/2 cups of Arborio Rice
2-3 cans of chicken broth
1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence
2 Bay Leaves
Fresh chopped basil or Italian Parsley for garnish along with wedges of lemon.
Start with a nice width pan with a lid. Season your chicken with the oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Heat up the olive oil with medium to medium high heat and brown the chicken and sausage. Once browned remove and set on a platter with paper towels.
Pour off the excess fat, reduce the heat to medium, and then add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and let them cook down and soften. You can add the wine now and deglaze the pan. Let this all cook down and soften but don't over cook - you want the veggies to stay crunchy and firm. Then add the mushrooms and let them cook down. Then add the tomatoes and let them heat up and blend in with the veggies.
Create a well in the center and add the rice. Let the rice fry and then gradually stir it into the veggies. Start adding the chicken broth - you can also add more wine if you like! As the rice absorbs the broth keep adding the broth. You can also heat the broth in a separate pan before you add so its at the same temperature as your main dish. Keep this process going for 10 minutes until the rice and then add back the chicken and sausage and tuck it into the mixture. Keep adding broth as needed so the rice doesn't get dry but not to much to make it soupy. Add some salt and pepper to taste and some herbs de Provence and toss in a couple Bay Leaves. Now reduce the heat to simmer and let simmer 30 minutes or so.
Serve in a nice bowl and garnish with chopped fresh basil or chopped Italian parsley and a wedge of lemon. You can always zest some lemon peel over the top and of course some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.