It's said that our sense of smell can elicit stronger memories than any of our other four senses, and I believe it. For me, few things bring back the memories of childhood as vividly as the aroma of chicken cacciatore filling the kitchen.
I remember my Mom's electric skillet filled to the brim with chicken, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. She would have it bubbling all afternoon. My siblings and I were like Pavlov's dogs salivating from the aroma, anxiously anticipating dinnertime.
My daughter's boyfriend, Cory, had this simmering on the stove when I got home from a wonderful weekend in Monterey. I'm posting his recipe, but it smelled just like Mom's. All the childhood memories flooded my senses and was the perfect ending to an incredible weekend. Thank you, Cory.
CORY CORY CACCAITORE
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1/2 large white onion, chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 green bell papper, seeded and chopped 1 red bell papper, seeded and chopped 1 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced 2-16 oz. cans stewed tomatoes 1/2-3/4 cup red wine (chianti preferred) 1 Tbsp. fresh basil. salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS: Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and brown chicken. Remove chicken and drain fat, leaving 1 Tbsp. fat in pan. Add onions and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. Return chicken to pan and add wine and fresh basil. Cover and simmer 40 minutes. Remove lid and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve over cooked rice or pasta.
If you really want to maximize your cooking experience while making chicken cacciatore, sip on a glass of chianti.