Back to the weekend. All three of my daughters graduated from their respective schools over the last 3 weeks and we celebrated the last of these, my youngest's high school graduation yesterday. Family members came in from out of town and I found myself not only getting ready for a party, but runnng a mini-hotel over the weekend to accomodate all our guests. Wanting to enjoy my company, I did some of my food preparation ahead of time so we could spend more time together. I have to share the following recipe as it was a hit--easy to make and delicious to boot. Whether you are cooking for a crowd like I was or just want to make your family happy on a week night, I would give this a try.
Chicken & Sausage Cacciatore
3 tbsp olive oil divided
4 large chicken thighs with skin
3/4 lb. mild or hot Italian sausages
3/4 lb large mushrooms, quartered
2 12 oz containers grape tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
Heat 2 tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken and sausage to skillet. Sauté until brown, 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken and sausages to bowl. Add mushrooms to skillet. Sauté until brown, about 4 minutes: add to same bowl.
Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to skillet. Add tomatoes, red wine, garlic and rosemary. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Using potato masher, lightly crush half the tomatoes. Return chicken to skillet. reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Add remaining contents of bowl and simmer uncovered until chicken and sausages are cooked through, turning often, about 15 minutes. Place chicken and sausages on platter and spoon sauce over.
**To make it more my own, I added sliced red, orange and green peppers to mushrooms and sautéed until they were soft--about 10 minutes. I also added WAY more wine than it called for because we all like wine at my house. I also wanted a bit more "sauce" so added a can of diced tomatoes to the final simmer. Made it a day ahead of time so all the flavors had time to work together and become yummier and served with a big bowl of gnocchi to catch all the sauce. I think I tripled this for my needs!
PS: I really want a green Vespa!!
Photo credit: allposters.com