Friday, April 19, 2013
CATCH A CHICKEN .... er, CHICKEN CACCIATORI!
Here's the recipe as it was originally given to me:
1 frying chicken cut up, or 7 to 10 pieces of chicken
1 can Ortega green chili salsa
1 package dry spaghetti sauce mix
1 #2 can tomato juice.
Brown chicken and pour off fat. Mix other ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
It's as simple as that. BUT
The age of the recipe can be told by that "#2" - as you well know cans aren't labeled with numbers any more. #2 converts to 20 ounces in today's nomenclature. Next, Ortega used to make a smallish can of green chili salsa, a bit smaller than a can of tuna fish. And that was in the days when a green chili was kind and gentle, not a jalapeno. So today I use any kind of mild chili salsa I can find. And last night I didn't have tomato juice on hand but I did have a can of stewed tomatoes, so I substituted that into the recipe.
And lastly, I didn't bake it; I used an electric frying pan with a lid. Once the chicken was browned, I dumped in the sauce and cooked it for 45 minutes. It came out D-licious! Normally I cook a little spaghetti with it, but last night I took Suzanne Somers' suggestion and used fresh zucchini in the place of spaghetti!
How is that possible? She uses a vegetable peeler (or a mandolin or whatever) to make thin slices longways, then quickly fries them with butter and serves them next to any meat that has a sauce. Sure saves on calories and visually the plate looks very appealing. Try it.
I love experimenting with foods. Actually, I loved it a lot more when I could taste the food that I was going to eat. It has now been six years since my taste buds did their thing, and cooking certainly isn't what it used to be for me. Nothing tastes right. An example: some mornings I get up, pour myself a hot cup of coffee, put a little swig of Hazelnut flavoring in it, and pour it out after the first taste, because it tastes like I've added a couple of spoonsful of salt. Every bite I put in my mouth of ANYTHING tastes wrong. There are a few things that taste fairly good, but it is not the good taste that one would expect. It may not taste like anything identifiable, but whatever the flavor is, it isn't too bad. But that is a rarity. I have learned that if I cover something with a strong-tasting sauce, I can most often get it down. And the worst part of this taste problem, other than the doctors don't pay it much attention, is that my "taste" changes from day to day, so I can't count on anything. Rats!
Anyway, the Chicken Cacciatori recipe is easy to fix and good to eat if you are not me. Give it a try!