Tag Archives: cannellini beans

Pollo alla Cacciatora


Inspired by Nigella’s recipe from her cookbook “Nigella Express,” this dish was an absolute hit. I anticipated liking it, but not loving it. And after realizing how much I loved it (and blogging about how I hadn’t blogged about it) I decided to rectify my lazy blogging habits and hop to it. For the Good. For you guys.

Picture this: tender pieces of chicken. A flavorful tomato broth, into which the caramelized onion has practically melted. Bacon. Oh, and it all starts with garlic infused oil. Need I say more?


I made it on a peaceful Sunday evening after Alice was in bed. I chopped, I smelled, I tasted, I fried. Recently I’ve realized (again?) that I actually do love cooking. Not just the food at the end, but the process. To enjoy it though, I need to be able to take my time. If I feel the clock ticking, enjoyment flees and it becomes just another household task. So just an encouragement to any of you who are experiencing cooking as a burden (which I do from time to time): one of these beautiful summer evenings, take your time. Clear your schedule. Leave aside efficiency. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Open the windows, put on some good music, and abandon yourself to the pleasure that can be cooking.



(Serves 4)

1 ½ TBS olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, diced
½ lb bacon, finely minced
6 scallions, finely diced
2 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3-4), cut into bite-sized cubes
½ tsp celery salt
¾ cup white wine
1-14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
½ tsp sugar
1-14 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Cooked rice, to serve

1. Put the garlic through a garlic press and soak in the olive oil for 10 or so minutes, to infuse the oil. Strain the oil into a large pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high, reserving the garlic.

2. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook over medium heat for about 15  minutes, until caramelized, stirring occasionally and adding salt and pepper as it cooks. Take your time here—you’re adding worlds of flavor. Use this time to prep your remaining ingredients.

3. Add the oily garlic, minced bacon, scallions and thyme or rosemary to the pot. Stir and cook over medium high heat until the bacon begins to brown, about 10 minutes.

4. Douse the chicken pieces with celery salt on the cutting board where you chopped them, moving the pieces around with your hands to coat them evenly. Add them to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Pour in the wine and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

6. When the wine gets bubbly, add the can of tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

7. Stir in the cannellini beans and cook for a few minutes, until heated through. Taste for seasoning and serve over rice.


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White Bean Garlic Dip

I recently discovered a love for cannellini beans. They created an ‘aha!’ moment in my brain: you don’t necessarily need heavy whipping cream to make things creamy. “Thank you!!” cried my bottom. “Thank you,” cried my thighs. “Thank you!” cried my left ventricle. Seriously–puree some of these babies, and you could fool your own grandma with this creamy asparagus soup or this cilantro lime bean soup.

Anyway, when I saw this simple dip recipe that uses cannellini beans as its main ingredient, I grinned and put it on the menu. Me and those beans, we got an understandin,’ see. It’s a winner, and the fact that my old friend ‘garlic’ was also a main feature only strengthened my resolve to make it.

By the way, if you’re into the whole food blogging scene you should really take a few minutes to browse through Tracy’s blog, Sugarcrafter. She’s got great stuff on there, from this winning dip to Margarita Bars to Jambalaya to everything you could think of making with Nutella, her recent obsession.

Nutella . . . yes, it was also my obsession in Paris 7 years ago, and it led to some really, really embarassing pictures that I absolutely can’t share.

Okay, fine. I’ll share.

Phew–am I ever glad to be out of my late teens/early twenties! They taught me the meaning of ‘bacne,’ a horrible word which I shall never ever again repeat crossmyhearthopetodie, pokeyourmotherintheeye. I also realized in very recent years that plastering my hair against my head in a shrinkwrapped version of the bun was not an extremely attractive way to fix my hair. One day I’ll share a picture-based history of my hairdos and by the end you’ll be scratching your scalp and pulling our your eyebrows–it’s bad. And it will cause you physical and emotional pain to walk through it with me.

Alright, enough about my misspent hair-youth, and on to the main feature!


(Serves 4)

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cups olive oil
1 TBS lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Drain and rinse the can of beans to get rid of that nasty thick viscous liquid . . .

Aah, much better. Though please ignore the dirty dishes in the background. I don’t know who they belong to . . . but they’re definitely not mine. Nope. I don’t recognize a single one of those perps.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Those of you without a food processor (present company included) toss it all in a blender.

Yeah, I didn’t bother to mince the garlic. And I used 6 cloves instead of 2–you would do well to do the same. I regularly triple the garlic in recipes–it’s Who I Am.

Blend or process until combined.

I liked the fact that my blender left some chunks–I like a dip with texture.

Serve it with crostini (or any kind of tiny toast), pita chips, flatbread, crackers, or just scoop it out with your finger. I know I did.

This dip is seriously delicious. Garlicky, lemony, not too spicy but definitely with heaps of flavor. And did anyone see how easy that was to make? Tracy, you’re a genius.

I loved encountering random unprocessed beans, such as this little guy:

I should also point out that I had garlic breath all night long . . . and I woke up with more garlic breath. I breathed it all over my husband when I gave him a morning kiss, and then I recklessly breathed it all over the morning commuters on the El. So don’t make this for your own wedding or anything–unless you have a garlic-loving groom.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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