Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Oct 31, 2013

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

Libations used: 1/2 cup red wine...
Libations left over: pretty much the whole bottle, so serve with dinner or pour yourself a glass while the chicken is braising...
We're still having our occasional warm 70 plus degree days in LA, but the colder periods (for us, at least) are becoming standard now.  These cool, crisp days means I love dusting off that Dutch Oven and putting it to serious good use.  I was looking for a simple and fairly quick braised chicken dish for this past Sunday night, and Food & Wine's Spicy Chicken Cacciatore by esteemed Boston chef Barbara Lynch fit the bill.  It's got a slight kick with a few pickled hot peppers, a nice dose of vino rosso and is served over a pile of farro.  If you can't handle the spice, then leave the hot peppers out, as you'll get enough flavor with all the red peppers, tomatoes and onions in there.  I plan on adding this easy dish to my regular rotation now!

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore - serves 6-8
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 pickled hot peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used The Show's Malbec)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb ripe plum tomatoes, coarsley chopped
  • 2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups farro.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- In a Dutch Oven or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Cook the chicken for about 8 minutes, browning each side, starting with the skin side down.
- Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions, bell peppers, hot peppers and garlic and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Add the wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it's well evaporated (about 5 minutes).
- Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and season with more salt and pepper.
- Return the chicken to the Dutch Oven or skillet and nestle them amongst the veggies.
- Cover partially and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the sauce is reduced by about half.
- While your chicken is cooking, prepare the farro according to your package instructions.  About 2 cups should be enough once cooked for 6-8 people.
- Add the cooked farro to each plate and place a thigh in each.
- Spoon some of the sauce and veggies over it, and garnish with the parsley.