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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chicken Cacc-22

I met this guy at a hipster bar a few months ago who suggested we hook up in the most strangely poetic way, giving me the creeps and managing to sound like Keats at the same time: "come by on Saturday, I'll be cooking chicken in the park".

I don't think he ever said what park he would be cooking said chicken in, there are a lot of parks in Vancouver. And little pathways with benches that people like to drink on. The possibilities are endless. Although to be fair he could very well have said what park, but it was really loud in there and I was fairly hammered. In response I think I said something like "I don't..... know what..... park you mean I..... don't".

We never did meet up and have chicken.

I was thinking about that little exchange while I was in the bathtub recently and wondering why I don't cook a lot of chicken. It's just not a meat I'm drawn to. I HATE handling it, it reminds me of breast implants or plastic barbie body parts or prosthetic testicles or something (I've never seen/handled any of these, btw), and I don't really love the taste of it. That being said, I've always wanted to try chicken cacciatore, convinced that multiple chicken-loving nations couldn't be wrong:

Chicken Cacciatore
2 chicken breasts
1 small red pepper
1 small yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly. In a saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 mins per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth and oregano. Return the chicken to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooking through, about 30 mins. Serve.

The result? I ate it and it was filling and nutritious, but I think they should change the name to chicken caccia-boring. I just couldn’t get too excited about it. Sure it’s good, rustic, hearty, I should love it, but I don’t. It doesn’t have enough unique flavor for me.

I read somewhere that if you want to shake up this dish, you should add gnocchi, which is a great suggestion. I didn’t, because I was so bored that I fell asleep while boiling the water. I’m bored even writing about this dish. Yawn.

I don’t like to just bitch about things that are unsatisfactory, I like to do something about it. It’s one of my only redeeming qualities. So instead of giving up on chicken altogether just because of cacciaboring, I’m going to find a chicken recipe that makes me drool. Stay tuned.


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