Chicken Cacciatore for the Soul
by Mauricio Bonifaz (former single guy)
So you want to impress that cute girl from the accounting department, but the last recipe you made was macaroni and cheese … from the box. Just because mom is not around doesn’t mean you have to eat substandard food, especially if the object of your affection will be looking for your cooking skills. Here’s a sure-fire recipe to make the right impression.
First, turn the TV off, get off your butt and drag it to the nearest grocery store and grab the following:
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (get the Primo or Unico, don’t be cheap)
- Grab a sweet onion and a Spanish onion
- Next a garlic bulb
- A small can of sliced olives
- Now the important part – grab a package of skinless chicken thighs
(make sure it’s skinless, especially if your girl is health conscience)
- While you’re in the spices aisle, grab some oregano, basil, Italian Spice and cumin.
- White vinegar – you won’t need this for the recipe, but you’ll need it to clean that filthy bird
- Also, get some long grain rice
- A bottle of Shiraz and you are set my friend
Pay the cashier and make you way home (hopefully not your mom’s house – wince).
Call your sweetheart and tell her to come for 7pm dinner, that means you start cooking at 5, kiddo. After she says, “You’re gonna cook? Wow!” Drop your phone and get started.
Start by taking the chicken out of the packaging and putting them into bowl with cold (make sure it’s cold, genius) water and that white vinegar you were wondering about (half cup). Why you say? Just do it! It cleans off that nasty scum on the surface of the chicken and removes that chickeny smell and therefore the chickeny taste. Let it sit in the water for a good 10-15 minutes. In the meantime chop the onions and crush the garlic. Chop about 1 quarter sweet onion and another quarter spanish onion (red). About 3 cloves of garlic should do it.
Next, take a breath, wipe your eyes from cutting the onions rinse your hands and message your girl telling her you can’t wait to see her. Then take the chicken and with a paper towel dry those pieces up. Make sure the chicken is dry before moving on, you won’t regret it. Now sprinkle some cumin in the bone parts, it makes the bones yummy and succulent. Add some salt and pepper on the rest of the thighs. Get your handy deep skillet (not like a frying pan) add some canola oil (I know I forgot to tell you to pick some up, but, come on, you gotta have some sort of oil!). Once it’s hot, sear the thighs to seal in the flavour, 5 minutes max. Once seared put them aside in a bowl.
Add olive oil (yes, a different oil! – you want to impress this girl or not!). Add your chopped onions and garlic and sauté, add some chopped mushrooms in the mix. Add basil, oregano and Italian spice. Keep stirring until onions are transparent. It should smell heavenly, if it doesn’t, maybe you’re doing it wrong.
Take your trusty can-opener and get at that can of diced tomatoes – add to the skillet. Throw some wine in there, plus salt and pepper to taste. Finally add the sliced olives and stir. Bring concoction to a boil and then add your seared thighs. Now you’re cooking. Stir thoroughly. Cover the skillet, lower the heat to medium low (4) and wait, my son.
Now message your girl again. Tell her how much you miss her. Every ten minutes, go back and stir. In the first 30 minutes, it will look very soupy because of the tomatoes. Don’t worry, it will reduce and produce a thick heavenly sauce for your chicken. While you wait do something creative for your girl, write her a story, make her a mix, draw her some art.
After about 90 minutes, you will have a masterpiece, in fact, the longer you simmer the more the flavour will blend into the chicken. Serve over rice.
Place this meal in front of her, with a glass of wine, watch her eyes sparkle.
Mission Accomplished. M