To say I enjoyed my Gourmet Italian cooking course would be an understatement. To say I regret not having had the chance to work more with the chef that taught the 8 week course would be right on. I only had this one chance to work with Chef Nick. This guy is an ACF certified chef that not only graduated from Johnson and Wales but also teaches at the Art Institute down by Detroit, one of the major culinary schools in the country. He rubbed elbows with JULIA CHILD. Best of all he went to school with my husband and knows I live in his hometown, so we kind of clicked. This is the guy that keeps telling me I should go on learning and honing my skills. He knew my skills in a basic cooking class were superior so he pushed me like any good chef would. I FINALLY perfected my Mise en Place in his class. I also got the pleasure of having my food photography published nationally thanks to him! I’m sad that our class is done but even more sad for him because he just taught his very last Gourmet Italian class today at LCC. But I do have to say he made the class SO fun. I do hope after this semester is over and they close the program and kitchen, that I still keep in contact with chef Nick because he is a giant pile of awesomesauce.
Speaking of awesomesauce, my last dish cooked was Chicken Cacciatore.
I had never eaten it before nor made it so I was rather excited to make the dish. Being the overachiever I am, I completely de-boned the chicken pieces. I didn’t have a dry cherry wine, just a Riesling and not a lot of it so we had to use some grenadine. It made the sauce sweeter but it was still very tasty. Overall its a very good and fast dish. It can be made even easier with boneless chicken pieces. You don’t have to chop the meat up either so its really easy. The recipe is from school, so I can’t take credit but I will share
- 3 lb. Chicken cut into pieces (or 3 lb boneless chicken pieces)
- 1 Large onion, chopped
- 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup dry cherry wine (dry means its not sweet!)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 TBS chopped parsley (for garnish, if desired)
- Heat the olive oil in large, high sided frying/saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides
- Add the onions and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent
- Drain the oil; add salt, pepper and wine. cook for 1 minute, stirring and scraping bottom of pan to mix in the pan residues.
- Add marinara sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to serving dish, pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
And as a final note, again, I will miss this class and the wonderful foods we made!