Chicken Cacciatore with a Southern Twist
Makes: 3 Servings
Calories: About 450 Per Serving
Cooking Time: 35 to 45 minutes
- 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- ¾ Cup Yellow Grits
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Tomato
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Bunch Basil
- 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Capers
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Molasses
- 1 Tablespoon Southern Cacciatore Spice Blend (Smoked Sweet Paprika, Dried Parsley, Dried Oregano, Ancho Chile Powder, Garlic Powder & Cayenne Pepper)
In a large pot, heat 3 cups of water and a big pinch of salt to boiling on high. Once boiling, slowly whisk in the grits; reduce the heat to low. Cook, whisking frequently to break up any lumps, approximately 10 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the grits are tender. (If the grits seem dry, gradually add up to ¼ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter until thoroughly combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
While the grits cook, in a large bowl, combine the flour and half the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat the seasoned chicken in the flour-spice blend mixture (shaking off any excess). In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated chicken. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.
Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, tomato and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red. Add the molasses, capers and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until thickened and saucy.
To the pan of sauce, add the cooked chicken (along with any juices from the plate), ⅔ of the basil (cut up with a scissors just before adding) and ¼ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the chicken, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.