LUCY BURDETTE: I bet I've said this a hundred times if I've said it once, what can I make for my company that's mostly done ahead of time, while utterly delicious?
It's like asking one of those magic eight balls we had as kids--this time the answer came up Chicken Cacciatore. This dish is not hard to make, and tastes even better the next day--so perfect for entertaining!
Eight boneless skinless chicken thighs
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cup chopped green peppers
One large onion, roughly chopped
One garlic clove, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Two sage leaves, chopped
One bay leaf
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup wine
28 ounce can tomatoes, diced with juice
Basil and parsley, chopped for garnish
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan until bubbling. Dip the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown them on both sides in the oil and butter.
Remove the chicken to a plate. In the same pan, brown the chopped pepper and onion until soft, then add the chopped garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. And the wine to the same pan and simmer, being sure to scrape up the brown bits at the bottom.
In a stock pot, combine the browned chicken with the vegetable mixture, the chicken broth, and the diced tomatoes. Simmer this for at least half an hour, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is beginning to thicken. This dish is even tastier if you make it a day ahead and then rewarm.
Serve it with polenta and steamed spinach. Garnish with chopped basil and parsley.
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