Pollo alla Cacciatore

One of my resolutions for 2010 is less take-out and more home cooking. That being said, on a late work night how do you stop your tired self from reaching for a take out menu? The answer is simple, Nigella Express. I love Nigella Lawson, full stop. Nigella Express is great – one of my favorite Nigella cookbooks. I love how easily and deliciously these recipes come together. Not only can I make a quick meal for my family on a busy night, I can even have friends over on a work night and not be a frazzled mess.

Try this. You won’t be sorry.

Pollo alla Cacciatore

  • 1 tablespoon garlic oil
  • 1/2 cup pancetta cubes
  • 6 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 pound chicken thigh fillets, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, optional

NOTE: I know it says optional on the cannellini beans, but they add a lot of depth and heartiness to this dish. Also, with the beans in, you really just need a salad and a crusty loaf of bread and dinner is served.

Heat the garlic oil in a sauté pan; add the pancetta cubes, sliced scallions and chopped rosemary and sauté for a couple of minutes.

NOTE: If you live near a Trader Joe’s, Fairway, or Whole Foods, they sell pancetta already diced. Makes this dish even more Express. I always keep a few packets of the diced pancetta in the freezer.

Add the bite-sized chicken pieces, stirring well, and sprinkle in the celery salt.

Pour in the wine and let it come to a boil before adding the tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Drain the cannellini beans, and add to the pan. When they have warmed through too, you are ready to eat.

NOTE: I doubled this recipe this time for some hearty eaters I had over for dinner. I toasted the bread lightly and rubbed a cut garlic clove on the bread. I served the cacciatore over the toasted bread. Fantastic again!

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14 Responses

  1. Looks like a nice comforting dinner for a cold winter night…
    easy too!

  2. Great meal! I love Nigella Express too, so perfect for busy nights.
    Looks delicious!

  3. This dish sounds perfect for me … hearty and quick! The ingredients will be on next weerks shopping list.

  4. It is one of my favorite cold night go to meals!

  5. I’m a Nigella lover, too! I haven’t tried this recipe yet – thanks for the thumbs up!

  6. I love Nigella, too, and am sad she isn’t doing her show anymore (I think women are jealous of her and her ratings are low). Thanks so much for stopping by, and please come again!

    • I adore Nigella – way back to the Style Netowrk days. I think her appeal problem is two-fold.

      One, the Food Network has no idea how to film a show. They focused up close on her hands or up close on her face. You had no idea what was going on!

      Two, she really has become a bit of a victim of herself. She has played so much on the sex kitten role she created for herself that people aren’t taking her as seriously.

      She does, however, have a new book coming out so perhaps she will rise once again from the ashes!

      Thanks for stopping by, Catherine! I love your blog!

  7. Great pick! I had this one tagged–it looks so good. More home cooking is a great resolution to have. I love Nigella Express too–everything I have made from it has been great and very easy.

  8. Great recipe !! I might copy it soon !!

  9. Oh how sad-i jus got this news here and now i know why we get all repeat shows on travel and living(the only channel here with nigella’s goodness).
    And this recipe looks dang good….hearty nd a perfect dinner….

  10. Oh yummy….chicken, pancetta, and white wine makes perfect meal! Great pick.

  11. What a wonderful dish. This is one I need to add to my repertoire 🙂

  12. That looks so good. I will plan to pick up some diced pancetta from TJ’s when I get back to one at the end of this month.

    Is that a Harlequin deep plate you are using for serving? Lovely bowl for setting off the food.

    I hope Nigella will do a new show with the new book.

  13. Becky, I always keep TJ’s diced pancetta in the freezer! It is a life saver!

    And yes, I believe it is Harlequin. When my parents bought our house in CT there was an odd matched set of dishes. My mother thought they were Fiesta, but there’s no markings on the bottom.

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