Here in the Southwest we love or Hatch Chile season! We’re right in the middle of the harvesting these flavorful versatile chiles that are known for their perfect balance of sweet and heat. Besides elevating the taste of enchiladas and rellenos, we also love hatch chiles in stews, soups, sauces and even smothered on burgers. In my opinion, there is no better hatch chile then when roasted or charred. It’s easy to do on an outdoor grill, in the oven, or with a grate over your gas cooktop! Just keep turning the chiles until they blister, place them in a Ziploc back while still warm and let them sweat. he charred skin will come right off and then you can scrape the seeds out and dice! While you can used canned chiles for this Chicken Enchilada Soup, the hatch chiles takes the freshness and flavor to a whole new level! Oh! And those cornmeal dumplings? The perfect topper to a this hearty Southwestern favorite!
I rarely throw out old cookbooks. On the contrary, the older and more worn they are, the better. But recently, I had to toss out a cookbook that I found at a garage sale only because it had completely fallen apart at the seams. It was from 1964 and simply called “Delicious Asian Recipes.” This tattered little book served its purpose, though. Out of it came two of my favorite dressings. Both go splendidly with a refreshing and healthy chicken salad that is perfect for spring and summer!
“Bliss in a Skillet.” That’s what my momma’s Chicken Cacciatore recipe should be named. As a little Italian girl, growing up, I just thought that it was one of those dishes that everyone ate at least once a week – just like we did – with polenta or pasta.
I also assumed that all Chicken Cacciatore pretty much tasted the same.
But many years later, after having tasted Chicken Cacciatore in numerous restaurants, I’m going to finally go on the record and say that Momma’s is the best. You’re going to get to try it for yourself and see if you agree.
Momma’s Cacciatore is simple, inexpensive, uses only one pan, and the flavors are absolutely divine. It’s about as close to a fool-proof dish as you can get with the recipe I’m sharing with you today. Momma’s Chicken Cacciatore was one of the first recipes we included in our first cookbook, “Momma & Me & You,” and through the years, we’ve tweaked it just a bit to make it even better!
Here’s what Momma wrote in our cookbook: “Almost every Italian restaurant has chicken cacciatore on the menu, and there are as many versions of the dish as there are places that serve it. Although it’s a Southern Italian specialty, it has been adopted as a treasure throughout Italy. When I introduced cacciatore on my restaurant menu back in 1957, our customers fell in love with the very first delicate bite! It became one of our most popular signature dishes for the celebrity crowd and locals alike.”
I find that high-quality fresh chicken enhances the taste – and that chicken thighs and legs seem to be the most flavorful (flavor-filled bones make all the difference). Pick up a nice bottle of wine, some good sour dough bread, and enjoy one of my momma’s mainstay Italian meals!