A Childhood Memory – Chicken Cacciatore

Do you ever have random childhood cravings? My mom made chicken cacciatore pretty often when I was a kid. I remember the pasta being my favorite part of course, since that’s what kids typically love! I haven’t made (or eaten) chicken cacciatore for…gosh…I have no idea how long. I don’t think I’ve had it since my son was born and he’s 14. But the other day I had a craving. I have an old three-ring binder where I’ve kept printouts and copies of recipes since college. I’d copy things from Sunset magazine or something of my mom’s or grandma’s and file it away in this binder. In there is a printout of an email from my mom from, judging by my email address, around 1998, of her chicken cacciatore recipe.

I ended up making it in my electric pressure cooker because of weird timing with picking up my son from play practice. I had to leave right in the middle of when I’d normally be finishing up dinner. It’s not an Instant Pot, it’s a Breville Fast Slow Cooker but it’s the same idea. I set it up so I had everything sauteed and ready to go and then set the timer on the pressure cooker for 20 minutes and hit start right as I walked out to get him. It worked out perfectly, there were 4 minutes left on the timer when we walked in. Plus it was really delicious so I’m thinking this is now a quick and easy pressure cooker meal. Hence posting the recipe here so I have it forever and don’t forget!!

Serves 4

1 onion, sliced thinly into half-half-moons (quartered and thinly sliced)
2 cups sliced mushroooms (I used king trumpets)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine
2 really large bone-in chicken breasts (or the equivalent of about 2-3 lbs of whichever chicken cuts you like — preferably bone-in)
16oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 c chopped parsley

1lb spaghetti (you could use another pasta but spaghetti is my childhood memory pasta)

Saute onions until soft, salting a bit. Add mushrooms and garlic, saute those until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, add a little salt. Add wine and cook until it’s reduced to almost nothing. Add chicken on top of onion-mushroom concoction and pour tomatoes on top. Salt a little here too. Put lid on pressure cooker and set on high for 20 minutes.

While waiting, boil water and cook spaghetti.

Once finished, release pressure, remove chicken, stir in parsley. Slice chicken breast, if that’s the cut you’re using, or just take the other pieces and place on them on plates of spaghetti and spoon the sauce over the top.

I’m thinking maybe I’ll start pulling up some of those old classic childhood comfort food recipes to try out–chicken rice casserole anyone?

Buon apetito!