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Rachael Ray's Chicken Cacciatore StoupCompiled by Vicki McClure Davidson
In 2008, bubbly, easygoing Rachael Ray was the highest paid US television chef with her TV cooking/talk show, 14 best-selling Rachael Ray cookbooks to date, her own magazine in 2005 Every Day with Rachael Ray), and impressive cookware endorsements. In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated Ray's earnings for the year at $16 million.
She received national attention from a 2001 segment on the Today show that aired during a blizzard; the positive reaction from viewers was remarkable. Ray was signed to a $360,000 contract the very next day by the Food Network. From there, her popularity exploded.
Ray has been nominated for Emmys for her show 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray. Known for her perkiness and big smile, Ray is both extremely popular with viewers, while being mocked and criticized by critics. In November 2009, after appearing on Ray's cooking/helpful hints show, design diva Martha Stewart made several disparaging comments to the press about Ray's lack of refined cooking skills. Stewart later apologized.
Ray's famous trademark terms include "Yum-o!" and "EVOO" (for extra-virgin olive oil).
This recipe for Chicken Cacciatore Stoup is featured in Ray's best-selling cookbook, 365: No Repeats - A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners, A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook, A great way to save money and satisfactorily feed four people when you only have three chicken breasts. Ray explains the recipe and her term "stoup":
Stoup is what I call a meal that serves up thicker than a soup yet thinner than a stew. This hearty hunter's chicken stoup is a family favorite of ours, especially on chilly nights.
Rachael Ray's Chicken Cacciatore Stoup
- 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 to 1-1/3 pounds), diced
- 2 tsp. grill seasoning or coarse salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 lg. white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms, chopped
- 4 celery ribs from the heart, chopped
- 1 med. onion, peeled and quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 c. dry Italian red wine (eyeball it)
- 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 2 c. chicken stock or broth
- 3 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (from 3 or 4 sprigs)
- 1 c. fresh basil, arugula, or baby spinach leaves—your choice, shredded or torn
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese, to pass at the table
- Crusty bread, to pass at the table
Heat a deep skillet or a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the EVOO (twice around the pan) then add the chicken. Season with the grill seasoning and cook until evenly and lightly browned all over, 3 or 4 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, chop up the veggies.
Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and reserve. Add the remaining tablespoon of EVOO to the pan. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and potatoes. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the mushrooms, celery, and onions and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the bell peppers and garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the chicken back to the pan and toss it with the vegetables. Add the red wine to the deglaze the pan, picking up any drippings. Add the tomatoes and stock to the stoup and stir to combine. Sir in the rosemary and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
Turn off the stoup and ladle it into shallow bowls. Top with basil, for a sweet finish and to balance the spice in the stoup; top with arugula for a peppery finish; or add spinach for a woodsy finish. At the table pass grated cheese for sprinkling on top of the stoup and bread for mopping up the bowl.Serves 4.
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Frugal Café Blog Zone, "Ex-Con "Queen of Smug" Martha Stewart Attacks Sarah Palin & Rachael Ray... Sorry, Martha, No One's Listening to You (video)", (http://www.frugal-cafe.com/public_html/frugal-blog/frugal-cafe-blogzone/2009/11/24/ex-con-queen-of-smug-martha-stewart-attacks-sarah-palin-rachael-ray-sorry-martha-no-ones-listening-to-you-video/).
Ray, Rachael, 365: No Repeats - A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners, A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, NY, NY, 2005.
Ray, Rachael, 30-Minute Meals, Lake Isle Press, Inc., NY, NY, 1999.