Friday, October 19, 2007

FRIDAY DINNER

CHICKEN CACCIATORE
4-6 Servings

3x 8 oz skinless grass fed or organic chicken breasts
1x med red onion, thinly sliced
1x red pepper, thinly sliced
1x green pepper, thinly sliced
2x small garlic cloves, minced (smashed)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or as much as you can handle)
1x 28 oz. tin chopped tomatoes
1x lemon, zested or grated
32 oz. (aka 4 cups/1 qt) chicken broth
1x glass white wine (whatever you're drinking)
2x tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1x bay leaf
1x bouquet garni of oregano & thyme
(fresh herbs stacked together, tied with string)

In large pot, saute onions and peppers in two tablespoons of olive oil over med-low heat for 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, sautee for 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes, chili flakes, herbs, bay leaf and broth. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, cut chicken breast in half. Season with salt & pepper. Sear until golden in saute pan over high heat. Add to sauce. Once removed, add wine to same saute pan and cook for 30 seconds and add to sauce. Once liquid has come to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover with lid and cook until chicken is very tender (falling apart), approx. 1-1 1/4 hours. Stir in lemon zest and S&P to taste.

TIPS: If on a calorie controlled diet, omit wine.
For all of you veggies, I tried the recipe with seitan and to my surprise it worked, though I'd recommend cooking it for longer to absorb the flavor.

Whenever possible use Organic ingredients, particularly with meat and dairy products.

8 comments:

Jordan Cappella said...

Hey Gavin Its great to find you! I look forward to reading your blog and have added you to my blog roll. When i have my next dinner party of 4 what's a fabulous 3 course winter menu for under 100 dollars. That can be served with white wine.

Gavan Murphy aka The Healthy Irishman said...

Jordan,good to hear from you.
This is a pretty straight forward menu I think and can be done a little ahead as well so you won't be running around when your guests are there.
-Roast tomato & red pepper soup w/ warm sourdough bread
-Roasted seabass filet baked w/ potatoes,mushrooms and onions
-Peach and raspberry crumble w/ vanilla icecream

For the soup, if you can use fresh tomatoes,cut them in half and roast them w/ garlic and herbs, thyme,rosemary,oregano on a medium heat.Basically you want the skins to come off and the tomatoes to start sweetening up.Saute some onions, red pepper and garlic and add your tomatoes when the skins come off.If you haven't time use good quality canned tomatoes.Add some low-sodium broth and cook till soft.Blend and season.You're good to go.
Tip:Add a carrot to the soup when it's cooking as it'll add some natural sugar to the tomatoes as they'll be quite acidic.
For the main course, slice and dry your potatoes and toss them in some garlic and olive oil and in a hot oven, around 450 degrees,cook them till golden.Be carful they don't burn.Saute your sliced onions and mushrooms with a little garlic and butter,if you want or olive oil for a healthier option and when all the juice has evaporated mix them with the cooked potatoes.
Rub some S&P on the fish and lay them on top of the potato mushroom mixture in an ovenproof dish,skin side up and put the whole thing in the oven for around 12-15 mins.Let it rest for 5 mins after and give a squeeze of lemon juice.Seabass isn't very thick so don't forget about it but you've definately got time to open another bottle.
The crumble is something you can do ahead for sure.Slice your peaches and saute them with some butter and sugar.If you want a semi healthier option use honey or agave to sweeten them.Cook them for around 15 mins till they're almost soft, mix in your raspberries which will give it a great color.Taste them to make sure they're sweet enough.
To make the crumble mix get some flour, cake or white and mix in some chilled cubed butter and sugar.No real way around the sugar as you can't really make it wet.You should do this by hand as you're looking for a breadcrumb consistency.Once you get it put the peaches in a baking dish and sprinkle your crumble mix on top and into a 350 degree oven.Easy as that.
It sounds like a lot of work but you can definately do a lot ahead so you can relax with your friends.
Hope it sounds good and definately get back to me and let me know how it goes.
Thanks

Stacie said...

Hi, great blog. Your recipe for chicken cacciatore looks awesome! I'd love to try making it but I have friends that are vegetarians. You mention that vegans can try using seitan instead of chicken; what is that?

Gavan Murphy aka The Healthy Irishman said...

Hey Stacie,I probably should have put a note on that with the recipe so thanks for bringing it up.
Seitan is wheat gluten or sometimes called wheat meat.It's used as a meat alternative in vegetarian recipes and is really veresatile in terms of absorbing flavors.It's very high in protein, 16 grams per 4oz serving and has no fat so is great for the health conscious or anyone who wants to try something different to meat.
There you have it.
Thanks and let me know any other questions you might have.

john sonego said...

Gavin -- we are still salivating after the wonderful birthday brunch you created for Michael's 50th in January.

Glad you've got a blog site, and VERY glad you're sharing your recipes.

Any suggestions for the heirloom tomatoes in season right now (apart from eating them whole, just as they are??)

lemona said...

Hey Gavin,could you give me some ideas for Vegan meals please??Tired of tofu and salads!!

Gavan Murphy aka The Healthy Irishman said...

John,
Thanks for the comment and I've posted a couple of suggestions and a recipe for you and everyone else you might like to try it.
Always good to get some feedback.

Gavan Murphy aka The Healthy Irishman said...

Lemona,
You definately have some options other than tofu and salad especially as vegetarianism (think I spelled it right) is more common now. I don't know what kind, if any cooking you're into but start looking at using Tempeh. I found a good website for you www.tempeh.info
They have some good info and recipies.
Also TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is a great alternative to meat. You can add it soups, casseroles, stews, chilis. I like it a lot and even though I'm not a veggie I use it sometimes for a change.
Finally, Seitan is another great low-fat meat substitute. I mentioned it as an alternative in my chicken cacciatore recipe. If you check above I answered Stacie's comment about what it is so have a read of that and it should give you some good info.
All of these should be available in your local health food store, depending where you are. If you don't have a good local store check online and you'll be able to find an online health store to ship it to you.
Hope this was of help to you.
Thanks