Chicken Cacciatore (Chicken stew with peppers)
- 1 h 10 min
- Kcal 518
Does this sound familiar? You’ve bought some chicken breast and feel uninspired by the idea of just slicing and grilling it, but you don’t have much time for cooking, either. Never fear, we’ve got the perfect answer to the “what can I make for dinner tonight” conundrum! This tasty recipe is an ideal, surprising twist on the classic chicken breast dish: chicken strips alla sorrentina, inspired by the recipe for chicken alla pizzaiola (chicken with pizza sauce)! Our chef, who is 100% Neapolitan, is missing his walks along the gorgeous coastline of the Sorrento Peninsula, so he felt the need to make us a main course inspired by tradition… his own Sorrentine tradition of course! His solution was to transform the iconic gnocchi alla sorrentina dish into a mouthwatering main course. So, he replaced the traditional gnocchi that no one can ever resist with chicken strips, dousing them in a classic sorrentina sauce combined with diced mozzarella, all infused with a hearty helping of fresh basil! Feeling curious? Here’s the recipe for chicken strips alla sorrentina. As Giovanni says, it’s fast food, but not as we know it!
If you love chicken recipes, you'll want to make them too:
To prepare the chicken strips alla sorrentina, begin with the sauce. Peel a shallot and chop it finely. Add to a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil 1 and cook for a few minutes over low heat, stirring often to stop the shallot from burning. Add the tomato puree 2, salt to taste, and add a ladle of water 3.
Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes 4. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. Cut the breast into strips about ½ inch (1 cm) thick 5 and then into irregular pieces about 2 inches (5 cm) long 6.
Coat the chicken strips in flour 7 and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper 8. Heat some oil in a frying pan and then sear the chicken 9 by cooking over high heat for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally.
When the strips are golden brown 10, season with salt, and then add the tomato sauce 11. Cook for another 2 minutes and then turn off the heat 12.
Add the diced mozzarella and the basil leaves 13, torn up by hand. Season with ground black pepper 14 and mix everything together. Pour into a casserole dish 15,
sprinkle the surface with grated Parmigiano cheese 16. Broil in a preheated oven at (460°F) 240°C under the broiler for 8-10 minutes or however long it takes for the mozzarella to melt and form a lightly browned crust on the surface 17. Your chicken strips alla sorrentina are ready to serve. All you have to do now is get them to the table piping hot 18.
You can prepare the chicken strips alla sorrentina a few hours in advance – just heat the dish in the oven for a few minutes before serving. If you prefer, you can even prepare the sauce the day before, although the chicken is best freshly cooked. Once cooked, you can store the dish in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days, as long as you keep it in a glass container covered with plastic wrap. You can freeze the chicken strips alla sorrentina if you’ve used fresh products, i.e. not defrosted.
Don’t drain the mozzarella in advance. The whey released during cooking will make it a little softer. If you prefer, you can replace the mozzarella with other cheeses to your liking, such as white scamorza cheese for a delicate flavor or smoked scamorza cheese for a version with more punch.
If you’re looking for a lighter alternative, cook the chicken pieces directly in the sauce without coating them in flour. However, with this option, you’ll have to double the cooking time!