It was such a treat to have Tori drop by – I forgot how deep a connection we share and how robust the conversation is between us.
I first connect with Tori in the mid/late 70s while (I was) turning tricks in the cubicle of a Maryland gay bar. Torz was working at the club as a singer – under the watchful eye of her father who sadly had no interest in my advances – and was drawn to my creative albeit debauched spirit.
While most Pastors would advise against their children befriending vagrant, attempted hookers Mr. A knew that I was a good guy deep down and supported what has become a four decade friendship.
Obviously there was a period of estrangement, after I lashed out at her for not properly thanking me for helping her rework her breakthrough album Little Earthquakes but thankfully we were able to work through the ish pretty quickly and I continued to be her closest confidante.
I hadn’t seen Torz since getting kicked out of her orchestra concert at the Opera House in 2014 – apparently the skin flute isn’t an instrument that establishment likes you to play to an audience – so I was paranoid she may have been annoyed at me.
Thankfully she wasn’t and we quickly got down to catching up and working on music for her next album. I mean, I am her muse after all, so she couldn’t pass up that opportunity.
But anyway, you know that one of the main reasons she travelled over those 1000 Oceans was to try the flavor sensation that is my Chicken Cacciatori Amos. Which obviously is her favourite meal.
The catch to a good cacc is all in the simmer. Like me in a feud, you want the chicken to sit and stew in its rage until it either boils over in a mess/tabloids dream or softens up and falls off the bone. The meat obviously, you know I wouldn’t fall off.
Chicken Cacciatori Amos
2 kg chicken drumsticks and thighs (with bones in … you know I love that)
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
150g pancetta, diced
125g button mushrooms, sliced
100ml white wine
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
150ml chicken stock
⅓ cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Dust chicken with flour, heat a lug of oil in a casserole dish – le creuset, obviously – on high and fry the chicken for a couple of minutes each side, in batches. Remove and set aside.
Reduce the heat and sweat the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and pancetta until soft, sweet and the pancetta rendered – a couple of minutes should suffice. Return chicken to the pan and add the mushrooms and wine. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for a couple of minutes, or until the wine has almost evaporated.
Add bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes and a tin full of water, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir through the olives and devour with a shit tonne of mash.