With Mom's side of the family cooking Italian and Dad's cooking German, family gatherings offered a spread of tasty dishes.
Mom was often asked to bring Chicken Cacciatore when visiting Dad's relatives. She included Italian sausage links with the chicken in the simmering sauce, so guests could enjoy one or the other or both. I think sausage adds great extra flavor to the sauce, but it's optional.
Cacciatore is Italian for “hunter,” referring to a sauce that covered browned chicken in Renaissance times, also rabbit pieces, when wealthy people hunted wild game, and the sauce covered the wild taste.
White wine can be used instead of red wine, but Mom kept the popular inexpensive Mogan David red wine on hand back in the 50s. When in grade school, I recall Italian gatherings where children were allowed to take "just a sip" of the wine at dinner.
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 pound of cooked spaghetti
half a cup of Parmesan cheese
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag or bowl. Shake chicken pieces in flour until coated. Heat oil in a large skillet and fry until browned, about 3 or 4 minutes each side. Remove from skillet. If using sausage brown a few minutes on each side and remove.
Add onion, garlic, mushrooms and bell pepper to the skillet and saute until onion is slightly browned. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, paste, herbs and wine. Stir to combine all then return chicken (and sausage) to the skillet, spooning some sauce over meat pieces. Cover and simmer for 60 minutes over medium low heat, until chicken is "fall off the bone" tender. Depending on size of piece, it may take longer than 60 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
Meanwhile cook pasta until tender and drain. To serve use a large bowl or platter; pour and mix sauce with cooked pasta and set chicken and sausage pieces on top. Grate Parmesan cheese all over the top and have cheese on the table for adding more to servings, if desired. Serves 6-8.
Estimated Cost with chicken only: $10.00 or less; $1.66 per serving or less.