Thursday, September 2

My Mum's chicken cacciatore

When I was a teenager, in the days of spiral perms and E-Street, I remember having this on a regular basis.   I called my Mum a few months ago and said 'remember that chicken dish you used to make, with the garlic, wine and stuff?'  She answered: 'Yeah, chicken cacciatore...?' and then I realised... oh yeah, it was chicken cacciatore.  I always just thought of it as 'Mum's Italian chicken'.

My Mum was I think some Italian Mamma in a former life.  My Aunt has joked that she was adopted from some Italian family as she is darker in features than her siblings... and she whips up a mean cacciatore and an unforgettable lasagne.  Practically anything Italian, my 'Mamma' can whip up with an Italian authenticity - you would swear she had olive oil running through her veins.

Mum was also a little surprised that I remembered the dish so fondly.  She recounted that it was her 'emergency meal' when they were either on a strict budget or ran out of time or enthusiasm.  Little did she know that this meal is one meal I will always associate with a 'lovingly cooked meal'.

This week has been one of those weeks for us - where we've run out of time and enthusiasm.  Hubby almost lined up a job interstate - one I was happy to follow to because I know career-wise it would have been a great move and also great for him on a personal level - however I felt a little guilty because in my heart of hearts I didn't want to move.   I love our life here and there are people that keep my heart anchored here.   It turned out not to be.  So whilst I was relieved my hubby has been disappointed.  That's a tough place to be.  Then out of the blue I was offered a few days work a week in my profession... which seemed too good to be true, and although it was mine for the taking, it wasn't right for my family just now.

So it's been a week where we've had a lot on my mind.... so this meal presented me with a few comforts:  a quick, inexpensive and comforting meal and secondly, it was kind of a hug from my Mum who lives far away these days.

Do you have a meal like that?  One that assures and comforts you?

2 tb canola oil
1 cup plain flour
1 kg maryland cut chicken
2 small onions, cut in 1/8ths
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
800g diced tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
2 tb tomato paste
1/2 cup de-seeded kalamata olives
2 sprigs continental parsley, finely chopped
2 sprigs oregano, de-stalked and finely chopped

In a shallow bowl or a plate, mix the flour with some salt and pepper.    Coat your chicken with the flour and set aside.

Heat oil in a large stockpot or cast iron pot.  Brown the chicken and set aside.

To the leftover oil add the onion and garlic - cook until soft.  Add stock, wine and tomatoes, sugar and tomato paste turn stove down to a simmer.

Lastly add back the chicken and then olives, parsley and oregano.

Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour (I do mine with the lid on but it's not necessary if you don't have a lid).

Serve on pasta!

PS:  I have made my Mum cry when she read this post.. waaah.  
PPS:  She also suggested before serving, serve the kids first and then add some chili flakes for a bit of 'zing' for the grown ups if you like! (Great tip Mamma! xx)

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6 lovely comments:

Christie - Childhood 101 on September 2, 2010 at 3:27 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Big cacciatore fans here :)

Hope bigger and better opportunities are just around the corner x

Corinne on September 2, 2010 at 4:54 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Ooh I love the look of this. I think I might try it next week.

It sounds like you've had a great deal on your mind, but it sounds like it's all worked out for the best. x

Corrie on September 2, 2010 at 6:12 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

ohhhh I must try that! I know the kids will love it as they love anything chicken!


Corrie on September 2, 2010 at 6:14 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

oh and I really should read the full post rather than just look at the picture and say yum! opportunities will always be there when you're ready - my friend and mum of 4 always reminds me of this when I feel I have to jump at every opportunity presented to me!


Lorri on September 2, 2010 at 8:24 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Italian mamma, that made me smile. Being born into an Italian family, we never had this :-)

Mum's the word on October 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

this is the best chicken cacciatore ever! Its become a favourite in our house!!


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