How is Christmas just a few days away?! December just got here! We’ve been super busy around here and not even with Christmas stuff, just busy in general it seems. So busy, we haven’t been cooking much outside of our go-tos. Baked chicken is a pretty common dinner in our house, and crockpot chicken pho has quickly become another. This weekend, when we finally had time to even just go grocery shopping to fill out empty fridge (omg what a nightmare so close to Christmas) it was time for something new.Then, we received this awesome and incredibly generous terra cotta baking dish from my girl Alicia as a thank you for housesitting a few of her plants while she and her hubby are on vacation. Especially generous since she even brought the plants over to our house so we get to enjoy them here while making sure they’re watered and happy! Easiest gig around. And now we have this gorgeous dish!I adore all things Italian and somehow I haven’t had chicken cacciatore in
sooo too long, and it’s so easy! It’s a chicken dish prepared with tomatoes, onions garlic, and herbs. Typically the chicken is braised, but I wanted to take advantage of this new dish and decided to bake it. What’s cacciatore mean? It translates to “Hunter” in Italian and I’ve been told it’s because if the man came home empty handed after going out hunting, his wife would then have no choice but go grab a chicken from the family coop for dinner. How true is the story? No idea, but I must admit, I like the idea of the woman of the house waiting all day for some type of game meat to be brought home by her hunter, but he then shows up empty handed and she then has to grab a chicken out back and whip up a quick dish with what she had on hand, tomatoes, onions, and herbs, of course.Best part about this dish, aside from how wholly Italian the flavors are, is how easy it is. I just sliced up 1/2 of a white onion, a shallot, and minced some garlic,then added them to the terra cotta dish as the first layer (any other baking dish would work just as well too). The benefit of the terra cotta dish is the even heating and subsequent cooking that it will provide the dish.Then, a dice of some roma tomatoesadded to a bowl with some salt, sugar, dried parsley, oregano, and fresh minced basil.A good mix with some dry white wine,and some sliced cremini mushrooms, a touch more salt, some fresh ground black pepper, and a bay leaf for good measure.Mixed well and all added into the dish. Oh yeah, on top of the onion, shallots, and garlic, I placed a couple of chicken breasts as well to cook between the onion and tomato layered goodness.After about 50-55 minutes at 425 degrees, we had this divine smelling dish.
A touch of parmesan cheese,and we were in business.So. Delicious. This would make a great pasta dish too, although as the holiday treats are beginning to catch up to me already, I opted for it solo. Such a healthy, flavorful, and high on our list of go-to dinners from now on!
- • 2 chicken breasts, halved
- • 1/2 large white onion, sliced
- • 1 shallot, sliced
- • 2 garlic cloves, minced
- • 8 roma tomatoes, diced
- • 5 cremini mushrooms
- • 1 teaspoons of sugar
- • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- • 1/3 cup white wine
- • 6-7 fresh basil leaves minced
- • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
- • 1 bay leaf
- • fresh ground pepper
- • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 425º. Place onions, shallots, and garlic in baking dish. Add chicken breasts on top of onion layer.
- In a bowl, mix tomatoes with salt, sugar, oregano, parsley, and basil. Add mushrooms, bay leaf, and fresh ground pepper and mix well. Pour on top of chicken in dish and then bake for 50 - 55 min until chicken is fully cooked (50 min for thinner breasts, if they are thick cuts, it will take longer to cook through - if very thick, halve).
- Serve on top of pasta, rice, or chicken with tomatoes and mushrooms on top.