Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dinner – Raffaella’s Chicken Cacciatora with Mushrooms

Raffaella's Pollo alla Cacciatora con Funghi

Raffaella was off from work yesterday. As often happens we were discussing the evening’s menu and Cacciatora came up. Traditionally, we would cook Rabbit alla Cacciatora but only had chicken in the house. We also talked about Pollo in Umido, Chicken in a mushroom sauce. After about an hour of discussion Raffaella decided to change things around a bit and come up with something different than the usual. This is a combination of recipes so you probably will not find anything else like it. If you have Rabbit I would substitute the Chicken with Rabbit.

1 small yellow onion thinly sliced onions
Italian Parsley 2 Tablespoons chopped
Butter 3 Tablespoons (50 grams)
Olive Oil 3 Tablespoons
Tomato Sauce (4oz can)
Chicken cut in pieces (Rabbit would be great also)
Flour 3 Tablespoons
Dry Marsalla ½ cup
1 clove of Garlic
Mushrooms ½ lbs. (Preferably Porcini)
(Olives- if you so desire to be added with the mushrooms)
Salt and Pepper
Water ½ cup
Bay Leaves (preferably fresh but dried is ok)

Place the olive oil and butter in a large skillet with a high border. Reduce the two ingredients on medium heat until melted but do not allow them to get brown (not making a rue here).

Place the onion, parsley and whole clove of garlic in the skillet on medium heat with the butter and olive oil. Cook the onion until it becomes translucent but not caramelized. Stir every so often.

While the onions are cooking, rinse the chicken and dry completely. Place in the flour and get an even coating. You can repeat after a few seconds until the piece is entirely covered with a light veil of flour.

Add the floured chicken pieces to the skillet mixture, salt and pepper, turn the chicken and salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken has a light brown color in some points.

Add the Marsala, and cook until the Marsala has been 75% reduced.

Add the mushrooms, tomato sauce, bay leaf and the water.

Cover and reduce heat to low-medium (this means more low than medium). Cook for 1 hour.

After 20 minutes taste the sauce, it will seem that the pepper is too much. Do not be fooled, it will mellow as the dish continues to cook. We think it is because of the Marsala that the pepper is so accentuated in the initial phases. If you do not taste the pepper predominately, add fresh ground pepper.

Check at ½ hour salt and pepper. Add as needed.

Cook for 1 hour. It is ready when the sauce has a medium density. Before serving, discard the bay leaf and clove of garlic.

If you follow this recipe you will have sufficient sauce for a “pasta asciutta” in the next few days. Pasta Asciutta is pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine, with a sauce. Tonight we are having gnocchi with the sauce from yesterday’s dinner. Raffaella made fresh gnocchi but that is another article.

For this dish you need a medium structured wine, if you want a white then almost any chardonnay, however we prefer a Dolcetto d’Alba or a Nebbiolo, generally any red wine from Piemonte will work with this dish.

The perfect solution to serve this plate is with polenta, however this goes really well with my mashed potatoes (see pork chops with pure) or a simple white rice.

If you try this please let me know what you think!!!

In closing Raffaella just suggested we try this with Duck!?! I will let you know.



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