Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pollo alla Cacciatora

Last week we had a special guest over who loves chicken. Combining that with the amazing tomato harvest we're getting this month, it looked like chicken cacciatore was the way to go. In order to fill it up a bit I added a couple of different types of sausage, Sicilian and Sardinian, along with Italian eggplant into the mix. Maybe a bit over the top but delicious nonetheless.

Eggplants chopped

Flouring the eggplant to keep whole in the sauté

Parboiling the sausages before slicing them

Chicken cut into parts

sliced sausages ready for the sauté

Searing the chicken parts

2 medium Italian eggplants
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 sausages - 3 Sicilian, 3 Sardinian
1 free-range organic air-chilled chicken, cut into 10 parts
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 bell peppers - 1 red, 1 green - chopped
4 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
pepperoncini (red pepper flakes)

Slice the eggplants into large pieces - 2" x 1". Lightly flour the pieces and set aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, when hot add the oil.  Lightly sauté the eggplants then remove to drain on paper towels. Add the chicken parts into the hot oil and sear on all sides, about 5-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
In a separate skillet, add enough water to partially cover the sausages and bring to a simmer. Add the sausages to parboil until they change color, about 5 minutes. This will make it easier to slice for the sauté. Remove from the skillet and slice into 1-inch pieces.  Add the sliced sausages to the hot Dutch oven that still has its oil and cook until well-colored. Remove the sausage to drain on a paper towel.
Add the crushed garlic to the Dutch oven and cook in the remaining oil for a minute, then add the sliced onion. Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped peppers and also cook until translucent.
Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a lively simmer, seasoning with the oregano and bay leaves. Add the chicken parts and the sausages slices and bury in the sauce, then add the eggplants slices on top.
Allow everything to cook partially covered for about 45 minutes, seasoning with the salt and pepperoncini to taste. If preparing ahead, turn off the heat and cover until about 15 minutes before serving. At that point reheat the sauce then serve when ready.


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