Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chicken Cacciatore



A very dear friend of mine, Chris, who just happens to be a fireman with the Orlando Fire Department shares my passion for cooking and delicious food.

Chris and I were talking recently, he told me that he would like to make a dish for the men and women that he works with. I knew just the recipe I wanted to share. I thought my recipe for Chicken Cacciatore would be perfect.

This dish is one that braises the chicken low and slow and is basically done in one pot or pan. I’ve made it on top of the stove, but it can be done just as easily in a large disposable pan with a tight fitting lid in the oven. Delicious and easy, this recipe can easily translate into serving larger groups of people.

For my recipe I chose to use Pappardelle pasta. Pappardelle is a thick cut pasta.  This style of pasta allows the sauce to cling to the noodles really well.  Egg noodles would also work great and are readily available in most grocery stores.

Equipment:  2 baking sheets,  6 quart Dutch Oven
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chicken Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hr 20 -25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients: For Chicken
4 bone-in skin-on chicken breast cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, black pepper, dried rosemary- liberal sprinkling

1 diced onion
2 pints of sliced mushrooms
1 red and yellow bell pepper diced
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 cup of white wine ( Chardonnay)
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1-28 ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes with juice
1-15 ounce can of diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice
1- 16 ounce package of Pappardelle or egg noodles
1 package of fresh basil leaves

Directions- For Roasting Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take the 4 chicken breasts and cut them in half ( giving you 8 pieces) as shown in the pictures above. Lay them out, skin side up, on the baking sheets. Using a paper towel, pat dry each piece really well. This will allow the chicken to brown nicely. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each piece and rub the oil all over the top of each one. Next, liberally sprinkle Kosher salt, black pepper, and dried rosemary over each of the pieces. Be sure to crush the dried rosemary between your fingers to release their oils.

Bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Switch the oven to broil. Let the chicken continue cooking, about another 5 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden brown. Note: If your oven does not have a broil option, then turn the temperature up to 450 degrees, keeping a close eye, let the chicken brown and crisp up that way. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.

In a Dutch oven that’s been preheated on medium heat, add in the olive oil diced onions. Sprinkle in some Kosher salt and pepper just to start the onions to sweat. Stir the onions for a minute, then add in the diced bell peppers and mushrooms. Continue sauteing the veggies for another 5 minutes.

As the veggies start to release their water add in the minced garlic, tomato paste, and spices. Continue stirring all the ingredients together. At this point, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and stir that through. Next, add in the wine and chicken broth. Let that come to a bubble and cook for another 5 minutes.

Moving forward, add in the whole tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes and brown sugar. Using a wooden spoon, break up the whole tomatoes and stir. Add back in the precooked chicken pieces. Make sure they are not completely submerged. Bring everything back up to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let everything simmer together on low for another 45 minutes, until chicken is nice and tender.

Remove the chicken pieces and carefully set them onto a plate. This time keep the lid off, turn the heat up to medium to med-high heat. Let the sauce come up to a bubble, stirring occasionally, cook for another 5 minutes. Once the sauce has thicken, turn the heat off and add in the fresh basil leaves. Stir the basil throughout the sauce.

Have the boiling salted water ready so while the sauce is thickening on the stove. You can drop the pasta and everything will be done at the same time.

To serve, place the pasta in the bottom of each serving bowl. Top with two pieces of chicken and ladle this delicious sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh basil.

Directions: Making more than 4 servings of chicken at one time:
Equipment: Large disposable foil pan with tight fitting lid, and large or more than 2-1/4 sheet pans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare and precook the chicken the same as above.
Adjust all the ingredients, from the yield of ( 4 chicken breasts) 4 servings above, to the amount you intend to make.

Add all the ingredients to the large foil pan. Mix all the ingredients together. Next, place precooked chicken on top making sure not to completely submerge the chicken. Place the lid on tightly. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the lid, remove the chicken from the pan and place onto a plate covered with foil to stay warm. Note: Check to make sure chicken temperature is at 165 degrees internally, and nice and tender. Due to the fact that cooking on top of the stove in comparison to oven cooking times may vary.

Pour the sauce from the pan into a large pot. Turn the burner to medium to med-high heat. Let the sauce cook down and thicken, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is starting to reduce, have a pot of salted boiling water ready, to drop the pasta in. Cook the pasta according to the package.Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat off, stir in the fresh basil leaves.

To serve, place pasta in the bottom of the serving bowl. Place two pieces of chicken on top, and generously ladle the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh basil.

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Corned Beef And Cabbage

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My recipe for corned beef and cabbage is so easy. Once you look over how easy it is, I believe you won’t have to go out, to enjoy this dish anymore. When I make this dish for St. Patrick’s Day, it fills my house with the smells and memories of growing up and knowing Spring was just around the corner. I start the corned beef with a brisket cut of meat. Because it’s just Steve and I, I only bought a piece that was about 2-1/4 pounds.
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In a large Dutch oven type pot, I set the brisket in first. Next for the liquids, I used 1 quart each, of low sodium chicken broth and beef broth. The mixture of the two broths were the perfect flavor. Make sure that the meat is completely covered in liquid. Now for the spices, I used a pickling spice blend. They are ready available in grocery stores now. After adding in my pickling spice blend to the pot, I brought it up to a boil, then reduced it to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot and I let this simmer on a med low heat for 2-1/2- 3 hours until the corned beef was fork tender and ready to slice. I do want the meat to hold it’s integrity when I slice it.

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Now, about an hour into the cooking of the corn beef, I start working on the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots on another burner.

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I have 7 med size Yukon gold potatoes that I’ve peeled.

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I’ve quartered the potatoes and threw them into another large pot, where I’ve covered them with cold water. I brought the potatoes up to a boil, sprinkled a little Kosher salt over the potatoes to season them.  Now I’m only par boiling the potatoes. I don’t want to cook them all the way because, I’m going to add them in with the cabbage. So once the potatoes have just started to soften, I’d say about 5 minutes in the boiling water, I drain the potatoes really well then I take them out and place them into a bowl, like you see here above.

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I’m going to use the same pot that I drained the potatoes out to cook my cabbage in. I have some low sodium chicken broth, and two small heads of cabbage that I’ve cored and quartered. I place all the quarters into the pot and cover them with the chicken broth. I turn the heat up to med high and bring the cabbage up to a boil. After it has come to a boil, I reduce the heat to around med heat so the cabbage simmers nicely but doesn’t come to a hard boil. This is the time where I want to season the cooking liquid that the cabbage is cooking in. I add in my  Kosher salt and black pepper at this point. While the cabbage is simmering, I’m getting my carrots ready.  I’ve peeled 5 med size carrots that I’ve cut into 2 inch pieces that I’m going to toss in with the cabbage later.The cabbage has been simmering now for about 20 minutes, now, this is the time I add the potatoes back in.

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I let the cabbage and potatoes simmer together for 10 minutes.  I want to mention that, after cooking the cabbage and potatoes, the liquid may have reduced a bit. That’s to be expected. What I like to do is to add 2 extra cups of very hot water to the pot, to maintain the temperature of everything, and to bring the liquid back up before adding in the carrots. You want to make sure there is plenty of liquid in the pot so the carrots will cook through.

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Finally, now that all the veggies are in the pot, bring it all up to a simmer again and let them cook for another 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes is up, stick a fork into one of the pieces of carrots. They should be just starting to soften. You don’t want them to be mushy. I turn the heat off and place a lid on the pot. Whatever cooking time is needed to finish the carrots will happen in the hot pot. This will keep everything hot until it’s time to slice the corned beef.

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It’s now been 2-1/2 hours that the meat has been cooking. This is the time where you want to check to see if the meat maybe needs another half an hour more. If not, take the corned beef out and set it on a place to rest for about 15 minutes, covered with foil. Remember, I really want corned beef to be fork tender but also for it to keep it’s integrity when sliced.  Now depending on how long the difference in time is to when the cabbage and potatoes were done cooking and the corned beef was ready to be sliced, make sure the veggies are still nice and hot. If you think they could be hotter. while the corned beef is resting, turn the burner on med low to heat the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. This will ensure that when you place the sliced meat on the plate along side the hot veggies, you can ladle some of that delicious broth the the veggies have been steeping in on top of the corned beef. YUM!

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Yields: 2- 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2-1/2- 3 hours
2- 1/4 pound brisket
1 tablespoon of pickling spice
2 small heads of green cabbage, quartered
7 med size Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
5 med size peeled carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
1 quart of low sodium beef broth ( for the meat)
1 quart of low sodium chicken broth ( for the meat)
2 quarts of low sodium chicken broth ( for the veggies)
2 cups of hot water
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt ( 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt in the water the potatoes are par boiled in)
1 teaspoon of black pepper
Place the room temperature brisket in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Next add the pickling spice and the 2 mixed quarts of broth. The meat should be totally submerged. Bring it up to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Place the tight fitting lid on and let cook on med heat for 2-1/2- 3 hours. After 2 1/2 hours check on the corned beef to see if it is ready, if not continue cooking for another 1/2 an hour. You want the meat to be tender, but when you slice it, it holds its integrity, and not break up into tiny little shreds. Now about an hour into the cooking of the corned beef is when I like to start the vegetables. I par boil the potatoes in salted water, for 5 minutes first first. While that’s happening, I quarter the cabbage up. Place the cabbage in the same pot the potatoes par boiled in. Fill the pot up with the low sodium chicken broth and bring the cabbage up to a boil then reduce it to a simmer on med heat, let that cook for 20 minutes. Next add the potatoes in and continue cooking for another 10 minutes before add in the carrots. You will see that the liquid has somewhat evaporated, so this is when you want to add 2 cups of very hot water to the pot before adding in the cut carrots. This ensures there is enough liquid for the carrots to cook. Continue cooking all the veggies together for another 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and place the lid on. This will help the carrots to finish their cooking without being mushy. Once you’ve taken the meat out of the pot, ( if there are any large spices clinging to the meat, just brush them off) place the meat on a plate covered with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Check on the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots, while the meat is resting, to make sure they are still hot before plating. If they need to be heated up, this can be done while the meat is resting.

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Roasted Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie

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When it comes to comfort food, chicken pot pie is on the top of my list.  For this recipe, I decided to roast the chicken before adding to my filling. Chicken comes out so much juicier when it’s roasted. I have blogged about roasting #chicken before and my method is full proof. So I suppose I’ll start with talking about the chicken.

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Whenever I roast off chicken, I use chicken breasts that are, skin-on, bone-in.  I roast them off at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. I let them cool down for a least 15 minutes before removing them from the bone and then cutting the chicken into bite size pieces. So with the chicken out of the way, here’s how I make my #potpie filling.

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Carrots can take a bit longer to soften, so I blanch some diced carrots off in salted boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. I take them out with a slotted spoon and set them into another pot, or you could use a large bowl , that I have some freshly thawed frozen peas and pearl onions, that I had running under some tap water in a strainer to bring them a little closer to room temperature. The chill coming off these thawed veggies will cool down the diced blanched carrots.

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While the  chicken is cooking in the oven, on top of the stove, I have some low sodium chicken broth and chicken bullion cubes coming up to temp on the back burner. The chicken bullion cubes just re-enforces that deep chicken flavor that you want in a pot pie.

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I add some unsalted butter to a dutch oven, on med heat,then after the butter has melted I throw in a diced yellow onion with a pinch of Kosher salt. I saute the onion until just soft and translucent, a couple of minutes or so.  Next, I add in some flour. I cook the flour flavor out as I’m stirring the onions around. This takes only a couple of minutes. You can see the onions get a thick, gummy texture to them. To the onion and flour mixture, I pour the hot chicken broth, that was waiting for me, on med low heat, on the back burner into the pot. Still with the Dutch oven on med heat I stir everything around and when it comes up to a low boil and has thicken, I season the sauce with Kosher salt and pepper. To the thicken broth I add in a bit of half and half. This add some extra richness to the sauce. Next for those veggies.

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After all the veggies have been add, then comes the diced chicken. Finally some freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley. Let’s talk crust!  Before I get the crust out I need to divide the filling into three glass pie pans. In my house as soon as my friends here I’m making this dish, I know I need to make extra to share.

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I bought some ready made pie crust from the store for this, just to make this a bit easier for a weeknight meal. Like I’ve said before, ” the stores have really great, ready-made pie crusts”. So if you don’t have time to make your own, pick up a box or two, to have them on hand when you need it.

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I just unroll them and place them over the filled pie pan dishes. I mix a couple of egg with a tablespoon or two of water, then beat that together for a quick egg wash. I brush the sides first, so that any extra pie dough, that hangs over sticks. Then I brush the entire top. Make a few slits in the top of the pie crust for the steam to escape, and they are ready for the oven. Follow the baking instructions on the box for time and temperature.

Prep Time. 15 minutes ( includes, dicing onion, blanching carrots, and thawing frozen veggies by running them under warm water in a strainer.
Yields: 3 pies
Cook Time For Chicken: 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees
Cook Time For Filling: ( includes chicken broth and the start of the filling. All can be done while chicken is roasting in the oven. 15-20 minutes.
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast that have been roasted, skin removed and bone removed then diced
1 diced yellow onion
1/2 of a 14 ounce bag or box of frozen pearl onions
3/4 of a 1 lb bag of frozen peas
2-1/2 cups of diced fresh carrots
3/4 of a stick of unsalted melted butter
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of half and half
5 cups of low sodium chicken broth
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian parsley
2 boxes of store bought ready- made pie crust
2- large eggs
2 tablespoons of water

Directions. Place the chicken on two small baking sheets. Drizzle olive oil, Kosher salt and pepper on each one, then roast the chicken in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Take them out of the oven, let cool before removing the skin and bones. Finishing with dicing them into bite size pieces. While the chicken is roasting, have the chicken broth and bullion cubes slowly heating up on a back burner. As this is happening, dice the onion and carrots. Blanch the diced carrots in some salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. In the sink, have the frozen pearl onions and peas in a strainer with some tap water running over them so they will defrost, but still be somewhat chilled. In a large bowl or another pot, whatever you have on hand at the time, pour in the peas and pearl onions  When the carrots have been blanched, take them out with a slotted spoon and add them to the chilled but thawed the peas and onions. In a Dutch oven, on med heat, start the sauce with the melted butter, diced onion, and flour. Add the heated low sodium chicken broth to the flour and onion mixture. Once the broth has thicken, add in all the veggies, and cream. Next the Kosher salt and pepper, then stir everything together. Turn the heat off, then add  the diced roasted chicken and parsley, stir to combine. Divide the mixture into 3 glass pie dishes, and brush the sides with egg wash. Next lay the pie crusts over each dish and brush the egg wash all over the top of the dough. Finally, follow the baking instructions of the pie crust box for time and temperature. Take out of the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes, then enjoy some delicious roasted chicken, chicken pot pie.

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Savory Beef Brisket

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I love making beef #brisket for so many reasons. I’ts really just one of those styles of meats that you can #tastethelove and do just about anything with. I like to take the cooked brisket and portion it out. Because there is only two of us, a 3 pound piece is more than enough to make different styles of meals out of the same batch that was cooked. For example; on the first night, I added some of my homemade barbecue sauce to half, and we had barbecue beef brisket sandwiches. My favorite way is to not add anything to the finished brisket, and with it’s savory beefy broth, make tostadas. That’s what I’ve done here. Let me tell you how easy this recipe is to do.

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I start  with the #brisket, and turn the meat over so the fat side is up and score the fat. I just simply season the meat liberally with salt and pepper on the scored fat side. I throw some large chopped pieces of garlic in the bottom of a casserole dish and lay the beef in the dish fat side up. There are only a few ingredients going in. I pour over the meat a mixture of, beef consomme, low sodium soy sauce, liquid smoke, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. To that I add an onion that I’ve quartered, broken up into smaller pieces, and place around the outside of the brisket. the last ingredient is, I add in one can of fire roasted diced tomatoes that have been drained, and spread the diced tomatoes over the top. Next I wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap and set into the refrigerator over night.

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The next day when I’m ready to cook this off, I take the plastic wrap off and replace it with foil, bake it off at 300 degrees for around 1 hour and 15 minutes a pound. So for this size piece of brisket, comes to 3 hours and 45 minutes. I do however check it after 3 hours to see how it’s doing, because sometimes it may not need the whole 45 extra minutes. If after 3 hours you can stick a fork into the brisket and you can tell it’s going to fall apart easily, then go ahead and take it out and let it rest covered on the counter for about 15 minutes.

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Now after the meat has rested for a bit in it’s juices, I pull the foil off, take a fork and scrape the cooked tomatoes off to the side where they fall into the broth. I pull the tender brisket out carefully and place it on my meat board. I start with cutting the fat cap off, then I just shred the meat with two forks. While I’m doing this, I have the casserole dish on top of the stove, on med high heat reducing the broth so that it becomes more intense with beef flavor.

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Once the broth has reduced by half, I turn the heat down to low and the brisket back in and let simmer for another 10 minutes, and then remove the dish from the heat.  You can see how the meat just absorbs most of that delicious broth. I like to keep it covered with foil so its stays nice and hot until I’m ready to dish this savory delicious #brisket up. I was saying earlier how my favorite way to eat this was. Well this is what I do.

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I have to have some Pico de Gallo first. You can get my recipe for Pico de Gallo with the search bar under, Pico de Gallo two ways.

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I place some of the #brisket on a Tostada, then some freshly grated Jack cheese, and top it with some of my delicious Pico de Gallo. This is definitely my favorite way to eat this scrumptious savory beef #brisket.

Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Oven Temp: 300 degrees
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 3 pound flat top beef brisket
1/4 cup of beef consomme
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
Juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon
4 dashes of liquid smoke
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 large onion quartered and broken up
1-15 ounce can of drained fire roasted tomatoes ( diced tomatoes are fine)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Place chopped garlic in bottom of a casserole dish. Score fat side of the brisket with salt and pepper liberally. Place the brisket, fat side up into the dish. Place the quartered onion pieces all around the outside of the brisket. Add the drained fire roasted tomatoes all over the top. Mix all the liquid ingredients, beef consomme, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and lemon juice together then pour over the brisket. The liquid will settle on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 24 hours. Set the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and replace with foil, and place into the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound. Check after 3 hours to check on tenderness to see how much longer you need to cook the brisket. It may need 15- 45 minutes longer. When finished, remove from oven, let rest covered for another 15 minutes. Take the tomatoes from the top and scrape them off the sides of the meat. Remove the brisket out from the dish carefully and cut the fat top off, then shred the beef. Reduce the broth, by half on med high heat,( whisk the broth occasionally) on top of the stove while your shredding the meat. then add the meat back into the broth and let simmer on low for another 10 minutes. That’s all there is to it. At this point you could add you favorite barbecue sauce and stir the sauce through or just serve this savory beef brisket as is. Both ways are delicious.

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