This vegetable-heavy, braised Chicken Cacciatore is delicious over pasta, rice, or even mashed potatoes.
We’ve pumped up the veggies in this braised Chicken Cacciatore, making a hearty and healthy dish that is delicious over pasta, rice, or even mashed potatoes.
And, it goes great with a glass of Merlot.
Today kicks off a new year of Wine Pairing Weekends with a look at everyone’s wine resolution for 2015. What a better way to start the year than jumping right into the new things we’d like to try?
With the help of Wine Pairing Weekend, in 2014 we were able to really dive into wine pairing and exploring wines. We mostly focused on local Wisconsin wines, which we will continue to do in 2015. But, after scratching the surface of the unique wine culture in Wisconsin, we’re finding ourselves curious about the local wine culture in other regions.
So, for today’s pairing, we picked up a Washington State Merlot called The Velvet Devil, produced by Charles Smith Wines. We found the wine to be incredibly smooth and fruity with a light acidity. The wine is a blend of mostly Merlot with just a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives it a bit of tannin on the front end that is nicely smoothed over by the acidity of the Merlot.
Generally speaking, Merlot is near the middle of the red wine spectrum, making it an incredibly versatile wine for pairing with food. Typically you would pair a Merlot with grilled meats, beef, and flavorful, hard cheeses. However, Merlot also pairs well with the tomatoes in classic Italian dishes and the savory flavors of roasted chicken and mushrooms.
The acidic finish in The Velvet Devil Merlot made us think of Italian food, and a dish we hadn’t had in a while suddenly came to mind: Chicken Cacciatore.
Cacciatore means ‘hunter’ in Italian. We use it to refer to a dish that is cooked ‘hunter style’ with meat braised in tomatoes, onions, peppers, and herbs. The long, slow simmer of the braise yields tender, flavorful chicken.
It’s no wonder this hearty dish was a hunter’s favorite!
- ½ tsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 ¼ lbs chicken breast
- 1 tsp oil
- 2 medium onions, quartered and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium green peppers, quartered and sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ tsp thyme
- ½ c medium bodied red wine (Merlot works well)
- 4 small tomatoes, diced
- In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat ½ tsp oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them in the hot skillet. Sear the breasts on all sides over high heat, 1-2 minutes per side, until golden. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in the skillet and add onions and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onions 3-5 minutes, until golden. Add green peppers and continue to sauté 2-3 minutes, until the peppers begin to soften.
- Add the bay leaf and thyme to the vegetable mixture.
- Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the pan.
- Add the diced tomatoes with any of their juices.
- Place the chicken back into the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 1 hour.
- Serve the Cacciatore over pasta, rice or potatoes.
Take a look at these great wine resolutions!
- Sue from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake is pairing “Fiery Red & Icy White”.
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla has Argentina on her mind and is sharing “Empanadas Mendocinas + ’10 La Posta del Vi natero Malbec”.
- Cindy of Grape Experience suggests starting the year with “Wine & Dine: Fontana Candida Terre de Grife 2012 Frascati & Slow Cooker Artichoke Dip”.
- Shaina of Take A Bite Out of Boca is offering “Herb Marinated Mushrooms with Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile”.
- William of Wild For Washington Wine is giving us “ A Resolution for Greek Wine, A Recipe for Avogolemeno”.
- Martin from Enoflyz Wine Blog is shaking things up with “Skillet Kale Pesto & Seitan Pizza with Querceto Chianti Classico”
- Jade from Tasting Pour is pairing “Halter Ranch Cotes de Paso and Duck Breasts with Cherry Hazelnut Compote”.
- Sarah that Curious Cuisiniere brings us “Chicken Cacciatore & Washington Merlot”.
- Wendy from A Day on the Life of the Farm has a “New Year’s Wine Resolution of Prime Rib Roast with 2010 Cotes de Bourg”.
- David of Cooking Chat Food is going Greek with “Greek Lamb Stew & Wine Pairing”.
- Jennifer from Vino Travels it taking us to Puglia and sharing “Typical Dishes and Wine Pairings from Puglia”.
- Jeff from food wine click is focusing on “Wine & Food Resolution 2015: Italy Deep Dive”.
- Michelle from Rockin Red Blog will be tempting us “My 2015 Wine Resolution: Diversity!”
- Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva, is focusing on the “Rhone Rangers & Paul Bocuse”.
David of Cooking Chat started this event in June of 2014, and every month since then this group of wine and food lovers have had a great time! For more background, check out the original post announcing Wine Pairing Weekend. You can see the full list of past and upcoming #winePW events here.