Sunsets, islands and Mommy’s Cooking

My son has just come back from delivering a yacht to the boat show in La Grande Motte in France. They practically lived on fresh fish for the two months out at sea.
It all sounds very glamorous but too much of a good thing can become a little dull…or can it? It sure is a great way to see the world. These trips are all memories and experiences that he will one day look back on and share with his children. Doesn’t sound like a bad deal to me, but I think he was longing for some of “Mommy’s food”.

Sunset out at sea.

We were going through the many photographs that he took and I still think one could never get enough of sunsets….and islands. But yes, no man is an island and there is nothing like coming back home to loved ones and of course – Home cooked meals.
I haven’t made a chicken stew in a long time and it’s been really cold lately, so I decided on a stew for a ‘welcome home’ meal. I saw a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore – Hunter’s Chicken, on Foodista.com. It’s all about the tons of wine that goes into it….and it’s really easy to make. Again, like with any stew, you can play around with the ingredients. I chose to add button mushrooms to mine and keep it real simple. I just love biting into whole mushrooms. They always look more inviting than the chopped up version.
I have to confess that I am not a person that follows recipes by the measurement. I go according to taste and smell. Add a little of this…taste….add some more….taste…. No wonder I am not really hungry for my own meals.
So here is the recipe as tasted…and tasted….and tasted…by me. This is also one of many of my simple meals to add to the recipe collection that I am organizing for Dylan when he starts his charter business.

Welcome Home Meal

Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients
6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken thighs
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2Tsp flour or corn starch
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves
15 fresh button mushrooms
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 cups good red wine
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
Pecorino cheese, to taste
Green olives

Preparation

Wash the chicken and remove excess skin.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Sauté the onion and garlic.
Add chicken and brown on all sides.
Add green pepper and tomatoes and cook for roughly 5 minutes.
Next, add the wine, oregano, basil and bay leaves. Also add the salt and pepper.
Make sure the chicken is completely immersed in the wine.
Cover the pot and allow to simmer on low heat for further 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
Dissolve the flour or corn starch in some water and add to the pot to thicken the gravy.
Lastly, add the mushrooms into the pot and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve over some basmati rice topped with fresh grated pecorino cheese or parmesan and olives.

Chicken Cacciatore

This is where I wish I could be blogging from …the lovely Ascension Islands in the distance as seen from atop the volcanic rocks.

And finally – the arrival. What a relief for all!

Arriving at La Grande Motte

La Grande Motte

And lastly….a couple of restaurants.

In keeping with the theme, I also made a cocktail using the Angostura Rum that Dylan brought back from a previous trip.You can sample my Caribbean Rose here.

Caribbean Rose - An aromatic cocktail with rum and a secret ingredient.

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