Monday, 23 March 2015

The Power of Sour

Pollo al Aceto con Peperone, Olive & Capperi
Vinegar Chicken with Peppers, Olives & Capers

Although I bought so many Asian ingredients on Saturday, I was in the mood for something Mediterranean this evening- a little taste of the Old Country!

And this may not be the way that mamma used to make- but the basic flavor giving ingredients are still there- oregano and vinegar, very Sicilian and totally terrific for braising meat in- in this case lovely, tender chicken breast filets.

A really simple, one-pot dinner, perfect to prepare after a long day at work... basically all you need to do is to put all of the ingredients into a pot and leave them to do their own thing for an hour whilst you have a little rest and put your feet up. Yes- it's one of those recipes! And I am glad that I made it after this moody Monday! Because you can bet your bottom dollar that my mood was a lot better after eating it!

I had 2 small chicken breasts, which I in turn halved for faster cooking, 2 small, red pointed peppers (bell peppers are fine too- and the color makes no difference!), 1 onion, 1/2 of a carrot and celery stalk respectively, 4-5 black olives, a tablespoon of capers, a little fresh parsley, a teaspoon each of dried rosemary and oregano (as I didn't have any fresh), salt, pepper, a good olive oil and a white wine vinegar.

The result was succulent and delicious- and of course the meat simply fell apart at the touch! Chicken thighs would have been much better- meat on the bone always is... but this is what I had and this is what I used! Just like in real life! Haha! But it turned out wonderful too, so no worries!


Apart from the celery and carrot, which I cut into small slices, I kept the onion and peppers more rustic and simply cut them into quarters, as I find they look better that way. But let's face it- after an hour of cooking, they are going to be as tender as can be- so if you prefer to cut yours smaller... go ahead!


I began by popping the chicken breasts into my saucepan first, with a splash of olive oil and giving it a little fry, basically just until it became white and was just on the verge of browning.

I then added the vegetables, seasoned with salt and pepper and added the herbs- a teaspoon of oregano and rosemary each. After giving everything a good little stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, it was time to add the vinegar and get the real cooking started!


In went a half cup each of water and vinegar, the olives and capers, a little parsley and on went the lid, so that it could gently simmer away on a low heat for the next 45-60 minutes until everything was cooked-through, tender and delicious.


Of course, much of the fresh and vibrant color was diminished after an hour... but that wonderful aroma! Oh my! So delicious! and as we all know... a little "make-up" before serving is always necessary! So not to worry!


A last light drizzle of olive oil and a quick stir-through, gives a nice sheen and a fresh, fruity finishing touch as far as the flavor goes- and a sprig of parsley or two suddenly brings that slightly tired looking appearance after 1 hour of cooking back to life!

It's really simple, it's really rustic... and it's really delicious! 3 good reasons to give this a try, I'd say!


As you can see, those tender little capers have literally dissolved-away during cooking... but not without leaving a lot of flavor behind, which together with the olives and herbs and the sweetness of the carrot and peppers, makes a wonderful combination that has a real taste of the Mediterranean to it!


 Simple good food to simply enjoy!

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