- Two large chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 Tbsp dried)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- flour to dredge the chicken in
- olive oil to cat the pan
- 1 1/2 cup chopped onion, 5 small, or as many as you like
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, or as much as you'd like
- 3 cups of chopped, very ripe tomatoes, o whatever tomatoes you have on hand and 500g tomato puree
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded, 1 inh dice
- 1 bay leaf
- 16 salt-cured olives, black or green, pitted** didn't have these
1 Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add half of the thyme to the bowl, then sprinkle with flour to lightly coat. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Place the chicken pieces in the pan in a single layer. Do not stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side until lightly browned, then turn the pieces and brown on the other side for a minute or two more. Return to a bowl.
2 Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to the pan, cook for 1 minute. Then add garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms, cook for a couple minutes more. Add the rosemary and the remaining thyme. Add the chicken. Cover with chopped tomatoes, add bay leaf. Reduce heat to low; cover the pan and simmer for 35 minutes.
3 Add olives, if you like and raise heat to reduce sauce to desired tickness: for me this was fine.
Serves 4-5. Serve with rice, pasta, or potatoes.
I served this with rice and Thing1 told me "You are the best cooker, Mama". This is a big deal because I can generally never get her to eat food with spices and with multiple ingredients "all touching each other". So I was very touched. Now I join the ranks of Oma and Nana and Julie as being in Thing1's "best Cooker" class.
I made this up for lunch to give the family a good warm meal before heading out to hear a reading tonight. I would never have thought to use so much thyme and I think that it tasted wonderful. I also salted the rice water quite heavily (I need to get some of that fluor into the girls as I haven't been able to get fluoride supplements yet) and I liked doing that while leaving the cacciatore a bit less salty. This gave us all (except for Thing1 who had an extra bowl of rice) two small bowls and left about two bowls left over. If I were serving two couples, I might double this to ensure left overs. I will also add carrots and green beans next time, I think.