Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore is a staple in the Italian home kitchen. Simple and delicious is really what I might call it. This recipe includes chicken thighs to slowly cooked veggies like, pepper and onions along with fragrant herbs, red wine, and broth to create a hearty tomato sauce. I highly suggest that you follow my recipe if you have never made cacciatore in the past. I am going to help you pull the flavor out of every ounce of your kitchen time and make a really great meal.

That all being stated, adding other veggies to this meal is all wide open. Make it yours!

bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (3½ to 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin (see note)

2½ teaspoons salt, (used as seasoning)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup all-purpose flour (optional)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced (optional but I love them in my recipe)

red bell peppers, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips

¾ cup red or white wine (see note)

2 cups chicken broth

1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted or regular diced tomatoes (I like Fire Roasted)

¼ cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (dried sage will work)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Fresh chopped parsley

    1. Blot the chicken with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Season the chicken all over with 1½ teaspoons salt and the pepper. NOTE: for a creamier sauce, place the flour on a large plate. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, coating all over. Leave this out for a lower carb meal
    2. Heat the oil in a large (5 or 6-qt) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed, high-sided large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown half the chicken in a single layer, skin side down, until golden and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes more. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large plate; set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat.
    3. Return the pot to the stove and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not brown. Add the mushrooms and peppers and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the veggies just begin to soften.
    4. Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine has mostly evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes.
    1. Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sage, rosemary, oregano, honey, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
    2. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices from the plate back to the pot and spoon some of the sauce over it. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through or registers 165°F – 170°F on a meat thermometer.
    3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Gently simmer the sauce for a few minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
    4. Using a fork and knife, pull the skin off of the chicken and discard. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices back to the pot and simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes, spooning the thickened sauce over the chicken. Garnish with parsley, if using, and serve.
    5. Note: Sometimes chicken thighs have excess skin and/or fat. Before cooking, using kitchen shears, trim any skin that extends farther than the edges of the chicken thigh, and snip off any excess fat.
  1. Note: For the wine, use any white or red wine that you use for cooking (Pinot Noir, Chianti, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio/Gris etc.)  inexpensive but still good enough to drink. No “cooking wines,” they are a bit too salty and contain additives.
  2. You can freeze this meal too. Let cool to room temperature, seal in freezer bags or freezer storage containers and then store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours if necessary, and then reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat until nice and bubbling. 

Miss Karen Wellington, my Zwift riding pal and I are eating right. This is my contribution to her array of cooking skills to put her at the top of the Batman and Robin list of flying bicycles in our online cycling game. You can see Karen fly around the courses or I limp around on Zwift…As I might say “A bad day of cycling is better than a great day at work”!

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