Editor's Note: Combining his passions for the markets, humor and food, "What's cookin' with Kenny Polcari" is a blog published twice weekly on CNBC.com. With more than 30 years of experience on Wall Street, Polcari provides insight and analysis on the markets as well as a recipe du jour. Buon Appetito!
Cacciatore is Italian for "The Hunter." And investors hunted for opportunity Wednesday causing the Dow to jump 135 points led by news that IBM was selling its customer care outsourcing business. The S&P also enjoyed another up day while Nasdaq struggled as traders and investors showed some disappointment over Apple's presentation, but Facebook's move countered a larger selloff in that index.
What is glaringly obvious is the resiliency of the broader market as it continues to "climb that wall of worry." But as it does, we must eat and Chicken Cacciatore over Fusilli is the perfect dish I mean—there are still so many issues on the table causing angst and dinner should not be one of them.
We might as well eat well as the market chooses to discount the macro data. I mean what has really changed? Has the economy gotten that much stronger? Are U.S. macro data points really supporting recent market action or is it more about reduced geopolitical risks and a benign Federal Reserve policy announcement?
(Read more: Next crisis would be a 'bad bellyache': AIG chief)
We are now in official overbought territory as defined by the McClennan Oscillator, suggesting weakening breadth ahead. On Wednesday at the NYSE advancers beat decliners 56 percent to 41 percent, while on Nasdaq decliners beat advancers 51 percent to 45 percent.
Now yes this is tight but it does suggest that capital is moving into the more stable "blue chips" and out of the more volatile Nasdaq names. It also presents a quandary; do traders get short here or do they just pare back on risk and take some money off the table maintaining some long positions?
Thursday, the focus continues to be on Syria as Secretary Kerry is in Geneva negotiating with his Russian counterpart as Vladimir Putin takes center stage writing an op-ed piece in Wednesday's New York Times entitled "A Plea for Caution from Russia"—this from another leader that has trouble showing any restraint at all.
All eyes will begin to really focus on the Federal Reserve. The odds (according to a recent Bloomberg survey) continue to favor some kind of cut in quantitative easing next week and many now believe that the market has already priced it in resulting in a big yawn when the news comes out.
Even if we do get some kind of cut, which I do not believe will happen. We'll then be asking, OK, but now what? What's the next move? What is the justification and do investors really believe it? Or will Ben Bernanke just say that no matter what, it is now time to begin the withdrawal because the current program is no longer providing the stimulus it was expected to. Would that read as a negative statement causing buyers to become aggressive? I don't think so.
And so the hunt continues.
And now from the kitchen of Kenny Polcari, here's his recipe of the day!
Chicken cacciatore over fusilli
Chicken cacciatore literally means chicken prepared hunter style (cacciatore). In Italian, the cacciatore is the hunter and the hunter prepared his meals with braised chicken (or rabbit), garlic, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, peas seasoned with oregano, basil, wine, and salt and pepper. You would then cook the chicken in this sauce and serve it over fusilli. (Added bonus: You can also make veal cacciatore by substituting the chicken for veal stew pieces.)
I made this meal on Sunday as it needs to simmer a bit and as with most tomato sauces—if it sits overnight—it is always more robust and delicious the next day.
Here's what you need:
- Chicken thighs, legs
- Olive oil
- 2 big onions
- Bell peppers, 1 each, red and green
- 2 cans of kitchen-ready crushed tomatoes
- 1 can of mushrooms
- Fresh Basil
- 1 bag of frozen peas
- Red wine (optional, but really, why not?)
- 2 handfuls of grated Romano cheese (Locatelli Romano is preferred)
Start by sautéing crushed garlic in olive oil, add the seasoned chicken pieces (seasoned with salt and pepper). Use thighs, and legs as they are juicy and tender (breasts tend to be dry and never fall off the bone the way the dark meat does).
Brown the chicken pieces, no need to cook all the way through as they will cook in the sauce. Once you have browned the meat remove and place on a platter.
Next add sliced onions and bell peppers. Use two large onions and one green and one red bell pepper. (If you like the orange/yellow ones then feel free to use them also.)
Sauté the onion and peppers until soft for about 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pot and now add two cans of kitchen ready crushed tomatoes—not puree. Add one can of water (one cup of red wine is optional) and season with salt and pepper, oregano and fresh basil.
Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to simmer. Add back the chicken, onions, peppers, one can of sliced mushrooms (after having drained the water) and one bag of frozen peas.
Let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
At this point it is done, but as I said, the longer it simmers the better it is and if you let it cool and refrigerate until the next day—it is like you died and went to heaven. You can't make this up.
When ready, bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the fusilli. Cook for eight to 10 minutes, or until al dente.
Drain, reserving a mugful of pasta water and return to pot adding back about ¼ of a cup of the pasta water to moisten.
Let it sit for a minute and absorb the water. Now add three or four ladles of sauce and toss. Add two handfuls of grated cheese—Locatelli Romano works great—toss again and serve.
You can serve the pasta with the chicken or you can serve the chicken on a separate platter in the center of the table.
This meal works well with a nice Chianti, remember this is a meal prepared by the hunter, he is a simple man so the wine should reflect his simplicity. Does it get any better?
—By Kenny Polcari, director of NYSE floor operations, O'Neil Securities and CNBC contributor, often appearing on "Power Lunch." The author is not compensated by CNBC for this or any other written materials found on CNBC.com.
About Kenny: Kenny has more than 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Currently director of NYSE floor operations on behalf of O'Neil Securities, he has also worked for Icap and Salomon Brothers. You can follow Kenny on Twitter
@kennypolcari and visit him at kennypolcari.com.
Disclosure: The market commentary is the opinion of the author and is based on decades of industry and market experience; however no guarantee is made or implied with respect to these opinions. This commentary is not nor is it intended to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgment. The comments noted herein should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any financial product, or an official statement or endorsement of O'Neil Securities or its affiliates.