Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs
I devised this take on cacciatore when I got tired of the original I use. This is not as hard as it looks, it's more a matter of timing than difficulty. Make sure your orzo and peas are ready, you could cook them before starting the chicken.
- 4 lbs chicken, cut up
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, clarified
- 2 cups onions, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups dry vermouth
- 2 (28 ounce) cans tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups tomato juice, from canned tomatoes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon anise seed, crushed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 cup frozen peas
- 12 g orzo pasta
- Oil a 13 x 9 inch casserole.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat large frypan, add butter and oil.
- When oils "swim" turn heat down to low. Add onions.
- Cover and let sweat for around 40 minutes, or until soft. Remove cover.
- Turn heat up to medium-high, add garlic and stir until aromas start to meld. (This sounds weird, but it is how it happens. Just don't overcook the garlic.)Reduce heat so remaining oil doesn't burn.
- Remove onions and garlic to a strainer, keeping drained oils.
- Return oils to pan, increase heat to med-high and brown chicken pieces for about 5 minutes a side.
- When chicken is browned, place in the casserole.
- Keeping heat up, pour all the vermouth into the pan, stir to get all the crispys off. Reduce heat and slow-boil until the vermouth has reduced by about half and lost its bite.
- Add juice from the tomatoes, the herbs and the bay leaves.
- Keep everything at a slow boil for about 10 minutes, watching it so it doesn't burn, then add the tomatoes.
- Distribute onions and garlic from strainer on the chicken while the tomatoes are cooking.
- Start 4 quarts water boiling in a large pot.
- The tomato mixture needs to cook for about an hour (on my lame stove) and when it is reduced to a moderate liquid, pour it on the chicken in the casserole. Place the casserole in the oven, uncovered.
- By this time the water should be boiling, add all the orzo. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Drain pasta, add peas. Set aside.
- After the chicken has been in the oven for about 1 hour and the chicken is getting tender, add the orzo and peas. Carefully pull up the sauce from the pan to cover and fold the orzo/peas into the sauce.
- Bake for another 30 minutes, remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.