Hello on this lovely Sunday afternoon. Weather is very moody and cloudy around here, so I decided to stay indoors and cook. And since I adore everything with Italian origins, I’m sharing a recipe with you, along with an excerpt from Falling for Italy, my steamy romance between an Italian billionaire and a badass English shooting trainer.
Like my heroine, Sonia, I looked up the recipe for Chicken Cacciatore on the Internet. But unlike she—who is a disaster in the kitchen—I am actually an excellent cook. This recipe is easy enough for any inexperienced cook.
We need a couple of chicken breasts, salt, pepper, ½ cup all purpose flour, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 large red bell pepper, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, ¾ cup dry white wine, 1 can diced tomatoes with juice, ¾ cup chicken broth, 3 tablespoons drained capers, oregano.
How do we do it?
Cut the chicken breasts into 4-6 pieces, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then coat them with flour. Sauté them in hot olive oil on all sides until they turn brown, then take them out on a plate. Add the chopper bell pepper, onion and garlic into the same pan and sauté for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine, tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat with sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through (about 30 minutes). You’re done!
As a dessert, I invite you to enjoy this short tragicomic excerpt:
Sonia was a complete no-talent in the kitchen. She could actually burn frozen pizza. However, tonight she was making an unprecedented effort to prepare dinner for Giovanni. After she seriously debated ordering food from the corner restaurant and passing it as her own accomplishment, she abandoned that thought. He had to know from the beginning what he was getting himself into by marrying her.
Marrying. Marriage. The words still sounded foreign, provoking shivers and an odd feeling in her stomach. She’d never in her life considered becoming somebody’s wife, yet here she was now, the fiancée of a super Italian stud, the most amazing man she’d ever met. Not to mention he was the world’s best lover and he was loaded with money. Truth be told, she didn’t give a flip about that last part. She would’ve married him with the same love and enthusiasm if he’d been poor. She smiled, gazing dreamily through the window, feeling happier than she’d ever been. For the first time in her life she felt accomplished, needed. She had a purpose and a reason to live, not just exist contentedly as she had for twenty-nine years.
Shaking her head in awe at the unexpected turn her life had taken in just a couple of short weeks, she got down to the terrifying business of cooking. She had researched on Google the easiest recipes to prepare and decided on Chicken Cacciatore. She wanted to make something traditionally Italian to impress her future husband.
After praying to God—and whoever else was listening—that she wouldn’t screw up, she got to work, placing the printed recipe right in front of her on the kitchen counter. She analyzed the raw chicken breasts in amazement and some disgust. She’d always liked to think that chickens—along with all good food—grew in supermarkets and restaurants. But imagining the piece of meat in her hand as a living beast made her a little sick. Holding the slices with two fingers, she started sautéing them, at least she hoped that was what she was doing.
She sprinkled some spices over the meat, poured white wine in the pan and threw it into the oven, following the cooking instructions more religiously than she’d ever complied with the Ten Commandments.
She prepared the sauce, being careful at the same time not to burn the chicken. In the end, all crumpled and sweaty, her kitchen looking like after a bloody massacre, she proudly tasted the results of her first culinary attempt.
Her eyes watered a bit when she sampled the sauce, she’d probably exaggerated with the paprika, but she told herself a real man could handle spicy food.
“It’s not too bad,” she encouraged herself loudly, looking around as though expecting confirmation from the kitchen utensils. She could really use a pet. She’d fallen madly in like with Pirata, Linda’s cat. Giovanni had told her about Guccio—the dog he’d adopted—and she was truly excited about meeting him. A new house and a new life awaited her. Instead of being scared, she looked at this new chapter of her life like an adventure. As long as Giovanni would be by her side, nothing possibly could go wrong.
She decided to clean the kitchen later, the effort of cooking had been enough for one day. Instead, she went to take a bath, leaving the food in the oven so it would stay warm until Giovanni was supposed to arrive. He’d called to let her know he’d be there late, around seven. It was barely six, so she relaxed into the steamy hot water, under fragrant inches of bubbly foam. The bathroom window was small, but she could still see the snowflakes drifting lazily down. Their dreamy routine made her eyelids droop and she felt herself dozing off, carried gently on the wings of sleep.
~Falling for Italy~
If you enjoyed this sample you can buy the book from Amazon or read it FREE on Kindle Unlimited: http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Italy-Melinda-De-Ross-ebook/dp/B014Z8IB2G/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51F2hYq0jrL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=1WP3FJ96ZRQB4V8Z89DA