Southern Chicken Cacciatore

2P_P_081015_SouthernStyleChickenCacciatore

2P_P_081015_SouthernStyleChickenCacciatore

This is a bit different from my usual chicken cacciatore, but we really liked it immensely. And so I offer it to you.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • ¾ Cup Yellow Grits
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Southern Cacciatore Spice Blend (Smoked Sweet Paprika, , Ancho Chile Powder, Garlic Powder,  & Cayenne Pepper) To this add  1 tbsp each of fresh oregano and fresh parsley.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Core and medium dice the tomato. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the capers.
  2. In a large pot, heat 3 cups of water and a big pinch of salt to boiling on high. Once boiling, slowly whisk in the grits; reduce the heat to low. Cook, whisking frequently to break up any lumps, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the grits are tender. (If the grits seem dry, gradually add up to ¼ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter until thoroughly combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside in a warm place.
  3. While the grits cook, in a large bowl, combine the flour and half the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat the seasoned chicken in the flour-spice blend mixture (shaking off any excess). In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated chicken. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, tomato and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add thetomato paste and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red. Add themolasses, capers and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until thickened and saucy.
  5. To the pan of sauce, add the cooked chicken (along with any juices from the plate), ⅔ of the basil (tearing just before adding) and ¼ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the chicken, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

SERVES: 3

NOTES: You can easily use bone in thighs, or other chicken pieces, or add a fourth and it will serve four..

SOURCE: Blue Apron

Cheesy Meatball Sliders

Back-to-School-Meatball-Sub These are great on a football Sunday or any other day. Adapt the sauce as you desire, or make as given. It is a delicious finger food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 2 slices country bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slider rolls, preferably potato

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and bay leaf and bring to a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, partially covered, while you prepare meatballs.
  • Preheat broiler. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray and set aside. Combine bread and milk in a small bowl and set aside, tossing occasionally, until milk is completely absorbed, 8–10 minutes. Combine chicken, 2 oz. Parmesan, parsley, garlic, eggs, salt, pepper, and soaked bread in a large bowl; gently mix with your hands until ingredients are fully incorporated. Dampen your hands, then form mixture into 12 balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Broil, rotating pan once, until meatballs are browned, 8–10 minutes. Add meatballs and any juices to sauce and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, sauce is thick and chunky, and flavors have melded, 20–25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Top each split roll with a meatball, a dab of sauce, and more Parmesan.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can vary this as you desire. Use turkey or pork instead of the chicken. Use your own sauce recipe or one that you like.

SOURCE: Bon Appetit

Chicken Cacciatore Sicilian Style

chicken-cacciator-su-1860010-x I consider this comfort food. It has some of my favorite things. Tomatoes, lots of garlic, olives.

Who needs anything else. Place on a bed of pasta of your choice, and you can tuck in with relish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 -5 garlic cloves
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • thighs 4-6
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp jar capers
  • 1/2 c  olives, halved
  • 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced large
  • 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • angel hair pasta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Salt and pepper the thighs and place in a large saute pan and brown in some EVOO.
  2. Remove to a dish. Add the onions and celery and sweet peppers and saute until softened and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, capers, and wine, and saute until the wine has been reduced by half.
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened.
  5. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and stir until warmed.
  6. Add the chicken thighs back in, cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the pasta.
  8. Add the olives and stir in.
  9. Serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Vary the chicken as you wish. Use the best olives you can find.

SOURCE: Adapted from Food.com

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

06 I love chicken wings. And I love Asian food. So of course, the two work together quite well.

I suspect that this recipe is not standard, but rather one of dozens that fit the definition. Like so many foods, often the recipe is a family one, and varies accordingly.

However, this was perfect in my book. Spicy, a bit hot, but not overwhelming.

Perfect snack food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2lbs wings, (about 12-14), cut up if you prefer or left whole.
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c lime juice (about 2 whole limes)
  • 1/4 c fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (or other)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, diced, or 1 tbsp minced.
  • 1-2 habeneros or birds-eye chile

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and place wings in it. Marinate for several hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Place wings on a grill and cook slowly.
  3. Take the marinade and pour into a saucepan and simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Use the marinade as a periodic baste as you grill the wings until they are very crispy and well charred.
  5. Serve.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Getting the wings nicely charred is the goal here.

SOURCE: Recipe Tin Eats

Chicken Tinga

20130910-265977-chicago-tacos-el-perejil-chicken-tinga Now we are talking down home cookin’! Down home as in Mexico I mean.

Tinga is pretty much a stew. And it’s just dumped in a taco or a tostada or rolled up into a burrito. Add whatever else you like and as always, ya got a meal.

This is no doubt a recipe that can be varied in a number of ways and is authentic comfort food, so the recipes vary from family to family. Still the basics are the same.

Not too much trouble, and worth a lot in flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup medium diced white onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 large tomatillo, husk removed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chipotles plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from one (7-ounce) can
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook until well browned, about 6 minutes. Flip thighs and continue to cook until other side is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving fat in pan, and set aside.
  2. Add onions and garlic to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillo and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer sauce to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan, stir in chicken stock and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Nestle chicken thighs in sauce, reduce to a simmer, and cook until meat registers 165°F in thickest part of thigh on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove sauce from heat and discard bay leaf.
  4. Pull chicken meat into strips, discarding skin, any large pieces of fat, and bones. Stir chicken into sauce and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
  5. Spoon chicken into warm tortillas and top with tomatillo salsa, onion, cilantro, cheese etc.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Add diced cooked potatoes and maybe some corn and you have a meal you can put over rice or noodles.

SOURCE: Adapted slightly from Serious Eats

Smothered Chicken Fried Steak

820211714_KFVtw-M Nothing says comfort food like chicken fried steak. I mean seriously, the gravy alone is worth it. Add all your favorite fixin’s on the side and you got a dinner that will please everyone.

This is how I make mine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of steak of your choice, but I would recommend flatiron, or a thinly cut sirloin. If you move to round steak, then really keep it thin.
  • flour for dusting and dipping.
  • egg wash made from 1-2 eggs whisked with a tbsp of water.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c or so of Panko crumbs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/4-1/2 c beef stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the steak into serving pieces. Pound out until it is no more than 1/8 of an inch, and, depending on the cut, is tenderized.
  2. Sprinkle each slice with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip in the flour and shake off excess. Let these rest until all are done.
  4. Then dip each piece in the egg wash and then into panko crumbs. Place on a rack until all are done.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet and place as many in the pan as will comfortably fit and not touch.
  6. Fry until golden brown and then flip, and do the other side.
  7. Remove to the rack again, and place in a low oven to keep warm.
  8. Pour off most of the oil in the pan until you have the equivalent of about 3 tablespoons or alternatively, remove all oil and add in 3 tbsp of butter. Melt and add the flour and whisk until smooth and cooked (2 minutes)
  9. Add the milk and stir in and bring to a boil. Continue whisking until it has thickened. If it seems a bit too thick, then add the beef broth to thin it down. This adds some depth to the taste.
  10. Put the gravy in a gravy boat and serve at the table with the breaded steak.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: It is essential that if you use round steak, that you really pound this out. Otherwise it will be miserably tough. This is traditionally made with a poor cut meat so tenderizing is required to make it work. Best served with mashed potatoes and your favorite comfort veggie. Corn or peas for most.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats