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Fall Chicken Cacciatore

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The Ultimate Chicken Stew with Fall Vegetables, Apple Brandy and Tarragon. Perfect for the Rosh Hashanah Holiday Table- and Reheats Well! Gluten- free. 

The ultimate Fall Chicken Stew, suitable for a holiday dinner or weeknight meal
The ultimate Fall Chicken Stew, suitable for a holiday dinner or weeknight meal
Fall-off-the-bone tender with a generous portion of vegetables
Fall-off-the-bone tender with a generous portion of vegetables

A slow cooking braise fills your house with the most tempting of scents. A successful braise intermingles the flavors of the foods being cooked with those of the cooking liquid. The chicken is first seared at high heat, then finished in a covered vessel in the oven (although it can be successful on the stovetop.) Add vegetables, seasoning ingredients and enough liquid to reach half of the food in the pan.

I call this an “ultimate fall recipe” as all the ingredients melt together in the oven and produce chicken that is tender and falls-off the bone  – with a bounty of vegetables.
Serve with your favorite grain or pasta to soak up the wonderful sauce.

Fall vegetables include: butternut squash, parnips, celery root, shallots, garlic and a mix of mushrooms. Tarragon adds a nice natural “anise” essence which I love! Fall pears add a natural sweetness and flavor to the mingle.

Chicken and thighs do very well in this braising sauce, and will not dry out in the oven during the long 1 1/2 hour slow braise. Choose bone-in, as the bones add significant flavor to the dish.

The steps:
1. Brown the chicken until golden, then add your favorite salt-free seasoning mix*.
2. Sauté the mushrooms, then butternut squash – these will be added half-way through the cooking.
3. Sauté the parsnips, celery root, shallots and garlic.
Add some flour, then calvados (apple brandy), chicken stock and natural apple cider –
stir up to make a sauce, and pour over the chicken in a baking dish.
4. Cover with heavy foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and add the reserved
mushrooms and butternut squash with tarragon sprigs and braise an additional 45
minutes.

Please use a good apple brandy, not one which is artificially flavored or colored (without “natural flavors” added.) Calvados is an apple brandy from the Normandy region in France.

The first and most important thing to know about apple brandy is that it must be made from apples and nothing else.

When it comes to apple brandy, the first country you think of might be France with its famed Calvados, but thanks to a crop of small distillers, the U.S. is now one of the most exciting producers of the historic spirit. Many are aged in oak barrels for mellowing.

Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. Slow Cooked Chicken Cacciatore, with chicken falling off the bone in a rich and rustic sauce is simple Italian comfort food at its best.

Typically the dish is braised with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers and sometimes wine. I’m loving this non- tomato version, with fall ingredients I mostly picked up at my local farmers’ market.

Enjoy this special meal,
Karen

Ingredients for the Cacciatore
Ingredients for the Cacciatore
Golden brown seasoned chicken
Golden brown seasoned chicken
The sauce cover the chicken, and it will cook for a total of 1 1/2 hours until tender
The sauce cover the chicken, and it will cook for a total of 1 1/2 hours until tender
Halfway through cooking, the butternut squash, mushrooms and pears are added
Halfway through cooking, the butternut squash, mushrooms and pears are added
Serve the stew with you favorite grain or pasta... with plenty of sauce and vegetables
Serve the stew with you favorite grain or pasta… with plenty of sauce and vegetables
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