Slow Cooking On A Cold Day

What the barbeque is to summer, the slow cooker is to winter.

As soon as I feel it is cold enough outside to wear socks and dust off my mittens, I have uncontrollable urges to cook all my meals for as many hours a possible.

One of my favourite dishes to do with my trusty crock pot is none other than Chicken Cacciatore.  I have a few recipes that I have used over the years.  Now a days, I pretty much just make it up as I go along.  Cacciatore means hunter in Italian.  I find this fitting as I hunt around my kitchen for various fresh veggies and herbs to add to my slowly simmering and savoury concoction….

To begin, I coat all my chicken pieces, in about 3 tablespoons of flour.  Browning up the meat in a frying pan with some olive oil locks in juices and adds flavour:

Then I get busy with the veggies, chopping here and slicing there….

And the herbs!   Can’t forget about the basil and the thyme, of which I was pleased to discover I had fresh, copious amounts of in my fridge this morning.  It doesn’t need to stop with the fresh stuff – I always through in a couple of spoonfuls of dried oregano.

Once all the basics are ready to go, I add in the liquids.  Canned, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and white wine blend together harmoniously, adding layers of flavour and rounding out the all of the components.

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Voila! – A pot full of dinner that will cook, and cook….and cook…all afternoon – filling the entire house with awesome aromas of tomato, chicken and herbs.

Egg noodles act as the perfect platform when it comes time to serve it all up:

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Chicken Cacciatore is the perfect dish for the first, truly cold days in December, like today.

It warms you up – from the inside out.

IMG_8861Bon appetit!

(My absolute favourite recipe for Chicken Cacciatore can be found in this amazing cook book.  I also like Giada De Laurentiis’ version, which is not presented as a slow cooker recipe – just add a bit more wine or broth as needed.  I omitted the capers because The Hubby abhors them.  Though I think they are an awesome add-in you should try!)

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