Chicken Cacciatore


Sacchétto di spezie
Tied up herbs. I have sage, thyme, oregano and bay leaf. It smells so good. Will throw this in the pot later.

Owing to her Bologna, Italy cooking style she used a lot of dry white wines. I prefer red. For this meal I’m using a DaVinci, 2017, Chianti. I paid a whopping $9 for it. The best deal ever.

Lots of fresh San Marzano tomatoes from the garden.

Tomato Concasse (Tomato gravy)
Fresh San Marzano tomatoes or Roma tomatoes
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 Garlic cloves
S&P to taste
1 TBSP Olive Oil

Tomato Concasse is the process of removing the skin from the tomato before chopping. I remove the seeds for aesthetics but the seeds are fine to eat and don’t change the flavor much if any.

Cut Xs on top and bottom of each tomato and boil for a minute. Rinse in cold water (shock) and peel off skin and place in a food processor and spin chunky. Gently fry the paste and garlic in a skillet. Strain the seeds out of the tomatoes with a colander, discard the seeds and add the tomatoes to the pot. Cook low and slow to cook away the liquid. Later will hydrate with wine.

Slice mushrooms and gently sauté in butter and a dash of olive oil.

Cut two slices into the chicken perpendicular to the bone. Cut all the way down against the bone.

Place flour in plastic bag, I will use a zip lock baggie, add salt and pepper and shake the chicken in the flour mixture.

Gently brown chicken in olive oil.

Gently browned chicken. Skin fried a little.


Typically sofrito is onion, carrots and celery. In this dish I used ½ chopped onions and ½ chopped green pepper (seeded) and sautéed them in the chicken drippings. Then added the tomatoes, ½ cup of red wine, ½ cup of chicken broth. Deglaze the pan, add the Sacchétto di spezie and cook low and slow for 30 minutes to reduce the liquid. Remove the Sacchétto di spezie. Notice how darker the gravy is getting. It almost has a slight coffee smell. Wonderful!

Add 2 cloves of pressed garlic and the sautéed mushroom and chicken. Preheat the oven 350° and cook 2 hours. Serve over thin pasta. (Always cook dried pasta exactly 12 minutes).
As of 9/22/19

Osso Buco (Bone with a Hole)


(click on pic to enlarge)

(Osso = bone) + (Buco = hole)

This meat is a shank cut. The best part is the marrow in the center of the bone when cooked. Mostly, it is made with veal. However, veal shank can be expensive. Since the meat will cook in the oven for an hour and one-half or more, I substitute the veal with a beef shank. I can find beef shank for a third of the cost of veal and actually I think it has more flavor.

Serves 2

2 beef shanks
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup of dry red wine (dry white will also work)
Salt and pepper
2 cups meat broth (I use veal stock)
1 clove garlic (pressed)

2 carrots chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 half onion chopped
2 celery stalks cut into ½ inch pieces

Bouquet Garni:
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs oregano
1 bay leaf

Gremolata (Chopped herb garnish, mix all ingredients in a bowl):
1 lemon grated for its lemon zest
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley finely chopped
¼ tsp. dried sage
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped

Cooking Directions:
Salt and pepper the meat and then dredge in flour. Brown in a Tbsp. or more EVOO in an oven proof pot. I use a 5 quart cast-iron pot with a lid.  Remove meat after browning and set aside.

Add another Tbsp. EVOO and sauté the mirepoix.

Mix the red wine and tomato paste in a cup or bowl until the paste has dissolved.  Add the wine mixture to the mirepoix and stir.  Add one cup of stock or broth and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add bouquet garni and simmer 20 minutes.

Return meat to the pot and then add pressed garlic. Add remaining stock or broth until the meat is covered. Then add a dash more of wine.

Place pot with a lid or aluminum foil cover in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 1½ to 2 hours.

Serve on a bed of cooked Polenta or Risotto and garnish with Gremolata to serve.