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)
Print this post in friendly format