Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


* 6 red bell peppers
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 egg
* 2 cups milk
* 1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
* 6 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
* 1 onion, sliced thin
* 2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 lemon, sliced in paper-thin circles
* 3 anchovy fillets
* 1 tablespoon capers
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1/2 bunch fresh basil, hand-torn (1/4 bunch to flavor the base,
1/4 bunch to finish the dish)
* 1 cup dry white wine


Start by preparing the peppers because they will take the longest.
Preheat the broiler. Pull out the cores of the red peppers; then halve
them lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds. Toss the peppers with a
little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place them on a cookie sheet, skin
side up, and broil for 10 minutes, until really charred and blistered.
Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and steam for
about 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Peel the peppers and roughly
chop into chunks; set aside.

Season the flour with the garlic powder, dried oregano, and a fair
amount of salt and pepper. Whisk the egg and milk together in a
shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and tap off the
excess. Dip each piece in the egg wash to coat and then dredge with
the flour again. Place a Dutch oven over medium heat and pour in about
1/4-inch of oil. Pan-fry the chicken in batches, skin side down, until
crisp, about 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side
about 10 minutes longer. Remove the chicken to a side plate, pour out
the oil, and clean out the pot.

Put the pot back on the stove and coat with 1/4 cup of oil. Add the
garlic, onion, tomatoes, lemon slices, anchovies, capers, red pepper
flakes, half the roasted red peppers, and half the basil. Season with
salt and pepper. This part of the recipe is going to be your base.
What we are looking for is a fragrant vegetable pulp, so simmer for
about 20 minutes, stirring often, until everything breaks down.

Add the remaining roasted peppers and the remaining basil. Tuck the
chicken into the stewed peppers and pour in the wine. Turn the heat
down to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is

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