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Chicken Cacciatore

A rustic, slow-cooked dish of tender chicken and vegetables in a hearty sauce, chicken cacciatore makes a soul-satisfying meal.



Chicken Cacciatore, also known as Hunter’s Chicken, is a classic Italian dish that’s packed with rich, bold flavors. The name “cacciatore” comes from the Italian word for hunter, and it is said to have originated with Italian hunters who would prepare it over an open fire using ingredients they had on hand, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers. This recipe calls for chicken thighs to be slow-cooked with these veggies, along with fragrant herbs, red wine, and broth to create a hearty sauce that’s perfect for spooning over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes. Chicken cacciatore takes about 2 hours to cook, so make it on a leisurely day when you’ve got some time to putter around the kitchen. It’s also a wonderful dish to make ahead of time, as the flavors develop and deepen as it sits.



WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE CHICKEN CACCIATORE



STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS


Blot the chicken with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Season the chicken all over with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.



Place the flour on a large plate. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, coating all over.



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. 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.



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. 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. 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. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Using a fork and knife, pull the skin off of the chicken and discard.



Gently simmer the sauce for a few minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. 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.



HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN CACCIATORE AHEAD OF TIME


Let the chicken cool to room temperature and then store it 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 hot. Enjoy!



Chicken Cacciatore


By Jennifer Segal


A rustic, slow-cooked dish of tender chicken and vegetables in a hearty sauce, chicken cacciatore makes a soul-satisfying meal.


Servings: 4 Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes Total Time: 2 Hours


INGREDIENTS


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

  • 2½ teaspoons salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 ounces bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced

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

  • ¾ cup dry red wine (see note)

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted or regular diced tomatoes

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS

  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. Place the flour on a large plate. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, coating all over.

  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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Note: For the wine, use any red (Pinot Noir, Chianti, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink. Avoid "cooking wines," which are salty and contain additives.

  11. Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: Let cool to room temperature 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 hot.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving size:4

  • Calories:790

  • Fat:26 g

  • Saturated fat:6 g

  • Carbohydrates:42 g

  • Sugar:16 g

  • Fiber:7 g

  • Protein:88 g

  • Sodium:2,026 mg

  • Cholesterol:377 mg

Special thanks to Jennifer Segal, for the recipe and images. You can support Jennifer by purchasing her cookbook, "Once Upon a Chef, the Cookbook," featuring over 100 delightful recipes.

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