Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chicken Cacciatore over Noodles

Chicken cacciatore is a succulent braised-chicken dish with a rich and rustic tomato-based sauce that typically includes mushrooms, fresh herbs, and wine. “Cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian, which refers to this dish’s traditional preparation with game-meat brought home from the day’s hunt. However, if the day’s hunt proves fruitless, the backyard birds become fair game—thus, chicken cacciatore.

Both the ingredients and method of cooking are simple: Brown the chicken, sauté the vegetables, then add the flavorful liquids and bring everything together for a slow, easy braise to deepen the flavors and allow the sauce to thicken a bit.

Serve the cacciatore with some country-style bread to soak up the sauce, or spoon the chicken and sauce on top of buttered noodles, as here, for a scrumptious, satisfying, old-fashioned Italian dinner.

Tip: Turn a whole chicken into eight serving pieces by cutting each breast half crosswise in half: two legs, two thighs, and four breast pieces (the top parts with wings attached).

Serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 whole fryer chicken (about 3-1/2 lbs), cut into 8 serving pieces
  • flour, for dredging
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin, vertical strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 14.5-oz can stewed tomatoes, in juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 6-oz broad egg noodles (with or without yolks)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Cut-Up Chicken 
Garlic, Onion, and Mushrooms 
Dried and Fresh Herbs
  1. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour, shaking off excess. Season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a plate. If there are less than 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan, add more oil.
  3. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic to the pan. Sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, scraping up browned bits, and bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes with juice, chicken broth, tomato paste, and dried oregano and season with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes as they cook.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and return the chicken and accumulated juices to the pan, nestling into the sauce. Cook with the lid ajar, until the chicken is tender (turning 2-3 times) and the sauce is slightly thickened, 45-50 minutes.
  7. Stir in the parsley, rosemary, and vinegar and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
Chicken Beginning to Brown
Chicken after Turning
Mushroom Mixture Beginning to Cook 
Wine Added
Tomato Mixture Added
Chicken Returned 
Chicken Halfway Cooked
Cooked Chicken Cacciatore
  1. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a pot of boiling, salted water 10 minutes and drain. Return to the pot and add the butter, stirring well to melt and combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Buttered Noodles
To serve, divide the noodles among 4 plates or shallow bowls and divide the chicken and sauce on top.

Chicken Cacciatore over Noodles

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