As you know from the last post, Lauren put up a great picture of our Christmas gift pile, which consisted entirely of new kitchen and cooking items! Well, one of them happened to be the prettiest dark burgundy enameled Dutch oven that I have ever laid eyes on. It was a steal from Costco. Who needs to spend $250 bucks on a brand name Dutch oven, when Costco’s low-cost and quality Kirkland Signature does the trick. (Yep I grew up in a big family, so shopping at Costco Wholesale on Sunday after church, is a favorite pastime).
After deciding on a hearty Chicken Cacciatore dish, Lauren and I embarked on our first ever Dutch oven adventure in the Little Yellow Kitchen! It was the perfect time to set out on this mission, because we also had to cook to impress our fabulous new neighbor, Pearl, so that she would want to come back for dinner.
She contributed a delicious Caprese salad, topped with basil pesto and some balsamic dressing. She used a tube of basil pesto because apparently, the winter “storms” in SoCal killed all the fresh basil crop! It was the perfect insalata italiana to compliment the Chicken Cacciatore.
Here is how our tasty dinner went down. Drum roll please….
- olive oil
- 6 boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
- salt and pepper
- 4 strips of bacon
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped carrot
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp oregano leaves
- 1 cup dry red wine
- One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Fry the chicken until golden brown and a little crispy, about 7 minutes per side. Set the browned chicken aside on a plate and drain the oil. (Try not to dump any crunchy bits!)
Return the Dutch oven to the heat and add 2 more Tbsp of olive oil. Saute the bacon until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. (You don’t have to work too hard, the veggies will soak up the browned goodness off the bottom eventually). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic, marjoram and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the wine reduces to half the amount. Add the bacon back in along with the can of tomatoes; don’t forget the salt and peppah’! Bring the sauce to a slow simmer and partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes (we were a bit behind schedule and let it simmer for more like 20 and it still turned out great).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and transfer the pan to the oven, and cook the chicken until tender, about 35 minutes.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and skim any fat off the surface of the sauce. Stir in the parsley, maybe add a little more salt and pepper, and serve!
**Little Yellow Note: this dish can be served over your favorite pasta, to make it go a little further. We ate it without pasta the first night, but for lunch the next day the left-overs were great with a little added penne!
From the Little Yellow Kitchen,