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Spice of Life: Chicken is always in season

Last Modified: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 6:26 PM

By Eric Cormier / American Press

Weather forecasters anticipate sunny skies with a high of 72 degrees today which is a big improvement following our winter monsoon and heat wave.

The unseasonable — but normal in a weird sort of way — weather causes me a certain degree of trepidation when deciding what to eat.

Gumbo or stew is cold climate fare in my mind. Yet, I can’t get into salads or lighter foods because my body is tuned in for cooler temperatures, and those types of dishes are reserved for the spring and summer in my opinion.

Personally, I think chicken is the one ingredient that lends itself to year round preparation.

I am such a fan of chicken that a friend of mine jokes “you are going to grow feathers.”

At least once during the week, I will either buy or prepare a chicken dish. I love the flavor of chicken wings and thighs and never get bored eating the ingredient.

Also, cooking chicken is easy in my mind because I’ve seen it cooked and eaten it all my life. Familiarity does not always breed contempt.

Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay chimes in on that idea encouraging people to “Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.”

Hunter’s Chicken is a relatively easy dish to prepare that fits the current weather trend we’re experiencing.

Also known as chicken cacciatore, the recipe that follows is made with tomatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and oregano. Cumin is added to the pot, providing an interesting yet subtle flavor that will tantalize the palate.

Hopefully you will enjoy preparing the dish and find it fitting of the weather.


Hunter’s Chicken (serves 4)

Ingredients

• 18 1/4 ounce can solid-pack tomatoes

• 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 bay leaves

• 2 teaspoons ground cumin

• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, oregano, crumbled

• 2 tablespoons wine vinegar

• Salt to taste

• Freshly ground pepper to tasted

• 2 1/2 to 3 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Directions

• Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice. Put them in a large pot and break them in bits. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and vinegar and about half of the reserved tomato juice.

• Stir and heat, adding salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. If the sauce becomes very thick, add the remaining tomato juice.

• Add the chicken parts and let simmer 20-30 minutes more. Test for doneness at 20 minutes by piercing a thigh with a knife tip. If still pink continue to cook. This dish is good served hot or cold.

From “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook”

• • •

Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at ecormier@americanpress.com or 494-4090.

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