The babble of a middle-aged lunatic.

I was born and raised mostly on Italian peasant food. One of my all time favorites is my grandmothers chicken cacciatore dinner. I know, itâ??s very simple, but mighty tasty; oh, itâ??s true!


The dinner itself takes about 45 minutes to an hour from start to eating time, and costs about $5-6 dollars to feed 4 persons.


The meal consists of a simple salad of fresh cucumber, onion, and tomatoes in an olive oil; a BIG load of Vienna bread, and of course, the cacciatore.



The stuff you need for the cacciatore:


1)      1 whole chicken

2)      1 med. onion

3)      1 can of tomato paste

4)      Plenty of crushed red pepper

5)      About ½ cup Olive oil

6)      Salt and pepper


The stuff you need for the Salad:


1)      2 or 3 medium cucumbers

2)      1 Large Spanish onion (I prefer red)

3)      2 Medium to large tomato

4)      About ¼ cup of olive oil

5)      Salt and pepper & Oregano/Italian seasoning


Lets get started:


1)      Wash the chicken under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

2)      Salt the chicken. I like kosher salt, but itâ??s not necessary).

3)      Butcher the chicken into pieces no bigger than 2X2 inches.

4)      Chop up the onion.

5)      Mix about ¾ of the can of tomato paste into about 1 cup of H20 and mix it up.

6)      In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until it begins to smoke, or until a bit of water dances over the surface.

7)      Toss about 1 tsp of crushed red pepper into the heated oil.

8)      Throw in the onion.

9)      Before the pepper burns, and when the onion is clear, dump in the chicken pieces until browned on all the edges.

10)  As the chicken browns, start tossing on more of the red pepper, for casually spicy, a couple of Tbs. Itâ??s all up to you how much heat you want. Feel free to do the Emeril thingâ?¦BAM!!

11)  After the chicken browns, pour in the tomato paste and water mixture, and bring it to a low boil and let it cook for a few minutes.

12)  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

13)  Take the skillet off the stovetop, and put it into the oven preheated to 350 degrees.

14)  Itâ??s going to take about another ½ an hour in the oven. You just want to cook the chicken the rest of the way through. This is a semi-dry dish, but add more olive oil and water and/or tomato paste if you want. This is not rocket science. * The trick here is that the olive oil holds much of the spicy heat of the crushed red pepper. Feel free to BAM!! again anytime at will. You want enough oil and sauce to plenty of mopping with the Italian bread.


The salad:


1)      Slice the cucumbers into 1/8 inch slices, or whatever size cubes you want.

2)      Cut the tomatoes into 8 pieces or so.

3)      Slice up your onion into slivers.

4)      Salt and pepper to taste & oregano/Italian seasoning. (I use a good amount of crushed black pepper)

5)      I donâ??t like vinegar on this salad, but feel free to use it very sparingly.


Thatâ??s all there is to it. You now have an authentic chicken cacciatore and cucumber salad, enough to feed 4 people. I personally go through about ½ loaf of the Vienna bread myself, so make sure you have enough.



on Nov 17, 2006
Ahh...sounds good...actually any home cooked meal sounds good. I've been living off dining hall food for 3 months...I can't wait until Thanksgiving...*drool*

on Nov 17, 2006
Hmmm...I'm a-gonna hafta print this out Sunday when I'm working and sitting around the office...looks good AND inexpensive....Gideon's favorite combination!
on Nov 17, 2006
Dont you just love what the edit feature can do to the formatting of a document on this site.
on Nov 17, 2006
Sounds good, it's similar to my own but I use red wine in mine.
on Nov 17, 2006
peasant food is the best kind of food. Thanks for passing on the recipe
on Nov 18, 2006
Sounds good, it's similar to my own but I use red wine in mine.

I do sometimes too Mason; usually a resonable zin

peasant food is the best kind of food. Thanks for passing on the recipe

I agree Shovel, and you most welcome !

Anyhow, I acctually decided to make this stuff today, so I figured I'd share a few pics.

The chicken prior to cooking. Notice that I only used white meat this time. Why? Because Im lazy and did not feel like butchering a chicken with my friday afternoon hangover. Besides, the skinless, boneless, breasts were on sale for $0.99/lb. Please note it tastes much better if you use the whole chicken. Also, remember that white the white meat tends to be kinda rubbery.

The onion zizzling away in the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) as Racheal Ray calls it. Pleanty of spicy black pepper. MMmmmm Another minute or two the chick-chick goes in.

After the tomato "sauce" and all the rest is added; bubbling away, making that spicy sauce I have come to know and love; Smells great too

The finished product. MMMmmmm. Noni would be proud.

Mighty tasty indeed. Oh, it's true

on Nov 20, 2006
It is delictious!!! If any of you get the chance to make it do so!! I love it when he makes this "peasant meal".. Taste great and fills you up!
on Nov 25, 2006
just thrilled to see some of the recipes noni use to cook and that they obviously ment something to you - mom