Skip to comments.Weekly Cooking (and things related) Thread
Posted on 02/11/2015 6:01:42 PM PST by Jamestown1630
(A little early this week, because I have a couple of busy days coming up.)
In the memoir that Julia Child wrote in collaboration with her husband's great-nephew, the story of the revelatory meal in Rouen that started Julia on her life's work is recounted ('My Life in France', Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme, 2006).
I believe that anyone who has become seriously interested in food and the art of cooking has had a moment like that: the one meal that made you realize that there was a LOT more to eating and cooking than you had previously known.
For me, it was my father's recipe for Chicken Cacciatore, when I was about 13 years old.
In our household, my Grandmother was the cook; and she was an excellent Tidewater-raised cook when it came to basic things like Chicken Pot Pie, Pot Roast, Birthday Cakes, Yeast-Raised Rolls and Bread, Thanksgiving Dinner. But nothing 'exotic'; she curiously didn't even do much with fresh fish or shellfish. And I don't think I ever saw her cook with garlic, or with a bell pepper, or olive oil - until the night my Daddy came home with a recipe that he had enjoyed with friends.
I can still remember the amazing smell of garlic bread, toasting in the oven; and green bell peppers sizzling with onions in olive oil on the range. I had never smelled these things before! and I had certainly never seen a bottle of Chianti in the house, all wrapped-up in its raffia. (Daddy was a spirit drinker ;-)
That night, Daddy coached, and Granny cooked; and the result was amazing. (Adding to the wonderful food, was the fact that I was allowed to drink a few sips of the Chianti, and feel VERY sophisticated :-)
My husband and I have tried many times to re-create this recipe. Each time, I say, "We're getting closer!" At times, we've even used canned mushrooms and Pompeian olive oil to try and get closer, because those were the items that my folks could have bought in the local grocery store, in the 1960s.
But, we've never really gotten there - and I don't think we ever will. You simply can't re-create the experience of tasting something strange and wonderful for the very first time.
But, here we are, as far as we've been able to duplicate it. This is based on a recipe that I found online, and with which we've been 'fiddling'. It's a very forgiving recipe. I always add extra garlic, a little more olive oil, etc. And we always use skin-on, bone-in chicken, and remove the skin after browning. (Most recipes you'll find now call for 'boneless-skinless' - and they taste like it, too.)
Daddy's Chicken Cacciatore
5 lbs. Chicken Thighs with skin and bone (or a 5 lb chicken cut-up)
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large green bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced (or: More Cow Bell!)
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes WITH juice
3 T. Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then dredge the pieces in the flour.
In a large pot, heat the oil, add the chicken pieces to the pan and brown over high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Don't over-crowd; brown in batches.
Remove the chicken to a plate. When cool, remove the skin and discard it. (Unless you're a fan of rubbery Chick-Skin)
Add the chopped bell peppers and onion to the same pan and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. (I'm not giving amounts of salt and pepper, but encouraging tasting as you go.)
Add the chicken pieces back to the pot with the mushrooms.
Bring the pot to a simmer and cook, covered, over low heat for about 1-1/2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning again if necessary.
This is often served over pasta, or rice; but as I recall, we just had lots of garlic bread to sop up the wonderful juices. (My folks used to make the garlic bread with the garlic "butter" that was sold in glass jars; but I haven't seen that available in many years. It was probably some kind of margarine, anyway; so that can be improved upon.)
If any of you have recipes for Chicken Cacciatore that you enjoyed in the late-1950s to 1960s, please post them!
“A new study reveals that the material of your cutlery affects your food” taste. This might be why you can’t get the chicken recipe tasting right. What type fork did granny have?
Hi, Applegate. Instead of the high setting, one can use the low setting to prolong the cooking if that is what you need. I will use the low setting for it to cook overnight if I want breakfast ready to eat when we get up. Would also do that if we are going to be gone for a number of hours.
I think I read the new ones are designed to get the temperature up at the beginning, in order to kill any bacteria, then it goes to the setting you selected. There is also a “warm” setting which is high enough to prevent bacteria starting to grow.
Well, I’ll know more about this once I get the recipe books. One of these books is the best seller one on Amazon and it speaks to using the smaller cooker and explains how the cooker actually works on the food with the various settings.
I also made a beef stew just yesterday. I make mine using a pressure cooker:
Brown 1 - 2 lbs cubed beef in 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pressure pot, then add 1 sliced medium onion and stir until onion slices are tender. Next, add 1 cup of water, attach pressure lid and cook with a slow rocking motion for 15 minutes then cool down quickly under running water.
Add two medium cubed potatoes, 4 - 5 medium sliced carrots, 2 - 3 stalks of sliced celery, 1 medium diced bell pepper, 1 can whole drained corn, 1 can drained green peas, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 can of tomato paste, 1 tsp black pepper, 1-1/2 tsp sea salt and same amount of sugar, 1 tsp dried basil, 2 tbsp of fresh parsley, and 1/2 tsp paparika.
Add 2 more cups of water or bring water to height of vegatables. Bring to a steam while stirring and then reattach pressure lid. Cook at a slow rocking motion for 8 minutes and cool pot in a pan of water until pressure is removed.
Easy and quick to make and great on a cold winter's day!
I’m still working on getting over my mother’s fear that a pressure cooker would explode and kill all of us. :p
Seriously. I hope to pick one up sometime in the near future as good stew can take hours that I don’t always have. I like all the veggies in your stew version. I would have to leave out the bell pepper as Mr Kitty will not eat foods that contain them. He claims to not like onions either, but I can usually sneak those in
Silly Mr. Kitty.
Mark last weeks thread
Actually found the info with dill pickles to sweet picklesin a few easy steps. This is the site, which also gives a number of other good tips as well
There used to be a pizza place on K street in DC, in a little eatery there. They made a ‘white’ pizza that had artichoke hearts on it. That was a great, if strange, pizza; I’ve never found it anywhere else.
I’d be interested in that. Maybe we’ll make one of these weekly threads all about crockpot cooking.
I’ve had a number of crockpots now - my husband’s grandmother was always gifting us with them. But I have just never mastered cooking well in them, and I’d like to learn. Everything I’ve made has come out very watered-down in flavor.
They are great for parties, though; my soul-food loving office folks always want my chicken and dumplings (I use the America’s Test Kitchen long recipe) and the crock pot is perfect for heating it up at the party.
i like that idea. will try this weekend. Thank you.
I bookmarked it. that's crazy. :-)
I love feeding people, too; and I really like watching people EAT.
It seems to me that people are never more Themselves, than when they are choosing, preparing, and eating their food.
One day a long time ago, a bunch of us were driving down from DC to the Outer Banks. Somewhere in Virginia, I saw a very tall, lanky Black gentleman walking in a field. He had a McDonald’s bag in one hand, and a burger in the other, and was eating the burger. Just something about his casual gait, and the occasional lift of his face to the sky, communicated to me ‘Perfect Contentment’ in the moment; and I’ve always remembered the scene.
Feeding people, and taking care over it, is very important. It’s a lot more than just ‘calories in/calories out’.
(As an aside: remembering this makes me wonder: why in the world do odd little ‘scenes’ like this stick in our minds for decades???)
Sometimes, I’ve heard Jacques Pepin on his television show say something like, “If we have to eat three times per day, isn’t it wonderful that God made it so enjoyable?”
Sounds delicious. Chubby Hubby loves chicken. It’s a miracle he doesn’t cluck. Coping this to give it a try.
As for crock pot recipes one of these might help
FRESH FAMILY MEALS
365 DAYS OF SLOW COOKING
Company coming for dinner Saturday and one is no gluten and I found this:
I think it's because I used more salt than called for but for whatever reason I ended up with the best caramel I've ever tasted.
Which is better than my usual caramel burning routine. But these are good and would be good with most any nut.
That looks good. I think I’ll try it.
If you weren't avoiding gluten some kind of graham cracker crust would work and might work better. I'll probably try that with peanuts instead of the pecans next time around.
A few sites for crock pot/slow cooker recipes
CROCKPOT EASY RECIPES
Going to make the Mrs. a special dinner tonight. I'm in the mood to do salmon, just need some good ideas of what to put with it. Going to finish with home-made angle food cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. The salmon is going to be either lemon-thyme or honey-garlic, not sure which way I'm going to prepare it yet.
Some of the ‘en Papillote’ recipes are nice; if it’s not too late, do a search on ‘Salmon en Papillote’.
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