Cooking With Tucci!
I have posted many stories about various Stanley Tucci films, TV shows, and of course, his passion for food – so Stanley takes center stage on week #10 of my yearlong cooking challenge!
My latest “52 In 22” recipe digs in to a family tradition from the Actor!
As you can see, Tucci’s cookbook is right in the middle of the stack of the first ten cookbooks I’m using, but his Chicken Cacciatore recipe is anything but average – it’s a meal he has grown up with, passed down for generations in his family!
Let’s Get Cooking!
Here are all of the ingredients for the recipe that the Actor says was a longtime family favorite:
2 pounds of chicken pieces, or feel free to chop up an entire bird
lots of garlic ( the “lots” part being my addition to the cause)
one Red Bell Pepper
8 oz. Mushrooms
San Marzano whole plum tomatoes
Olive oil, salt and pepper
“What Came First?”
The chicken of course!
Tucci uses a whole chicken cut into pieces, but I used chicken thighs and drumsticks. Heat some olive oil to medium high in a large sauce pan, season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss it in, browning the pieces on both sides, about 5 minutes each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
So easy, and it smells so good:
After your kitchen is filled with the delicious fragrance of the chicken, slice your bell pepper lengthwise like this:
Use the same large saute pan over medium-high heat. Drop your peppers into the pan and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, then set aside and do the same with the sliced mushrooms and let soften as well. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside – like this:
This is one of my favorite shots: glistening mushrooms lying on top of those red bell peppers…now, take your garlic and onion, add those to the pan, and after sautéing them for a few minutes, pour in a cup of white wine and dredge the bottom of the pan for any fun bits of chicken that remain:
Next, stir in the tomatoes, crushing them with your spoon as you add them to the pan. Cook for ten minutes or so to let the flavors develop, then add your chicken back to the pan:
I gave them a minute or two as I stirred it all together before one last step.
Stir the peppers and mushrooms into the chicken and then cover and cook to blend the flavors of these ingredients for about 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
Why do I love cooking so much? The smell of the process is one reason – you will understand when you cook this for yourself: a kitchen filled with this scent of great food:
I took the top off to stir it every few minutes, but since it’s simmering I didn’t have any problem of anything burning or sticking.
Of course, a dish likes this needs some pasta as a base…so while the dish is simmering I made some wide fettuccine noodles and had them ready to go – then I plated the food and added fresh parsley at the end!
Here’s Stanley Tucci’s Chicken Cacciatore!
I plated the chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers and mushrooms and then grated fresh parmesan cheese over the top, finishing the dish with fresh parsley.
As you can see, my chunks of tomato were a bit larger than they needed to be, but the combination of flavors was a delicious and I hoped for: the chicken was juicy, and if you make sure to combine the ingredients in a single bite, it’s like a free trip to Italy!
I love this recipe!
I’ve now cooked from the first ten cookbooks on my list, so here is a sneak peek of the next ten waiting to begin work next week:
I will be traveling around the world once again, as well as cooking from my TV show called “Cooking Under Fire!”
For those following along, you know that Stanley Tucci had a huge impact on my “52 In 22” cooking challenge weeks ago:
You see, when I made this Italian Gravy recipe from The Sopranos Cookbook, I learned something from Tucci as well – click here to see the recipe and what the terrific Actor taught me!
I stared this yearlong challenge on January 4th, when I cooked from a cookbook by the legendary Horror Actor Vincent Price!
He and wife Mary were world travelers and their compilation of great recipes led me to make a classic “La Belle Sole” dish – you can see the recipe by clicking here:
Back to Stanley Tucci: you may know that I became obsessed with a dish he cooked on his CNN travel series.
I made “Spaghetti alla Nerano” with some added “Zoodles” as well – click here for this amazingly delicious recipe!
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