Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

I have been making this chicken dish for years, and my family always devours it. Cacciatore, means hunter-style in Italian.  You will need to allow a couple of hours from start to finish, as the sauce will have to simmer to obtain rich and deep flavors. Follow me in the kitchen, and let’s cook along, a hearty and satisfying meal.

Serves: 6-8 Level of difficulty: Medium

Ingredients: 

  • 5 lbs. whole chicken, cut up in eight pieces *
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1.1/2  red bell pepper, cut in julienne
  • 26 oz. chopped canned tomatoes
  • 32 oz. prepared tomato sauce, of your choice (no meat)
  • 1/4 cup water, if necessary
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 6 oz. portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. butter, to pan fry mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil to pan fry mushrooms
  • Parsley to garnish
  • 1.1/2  lbs. spaghetti or pasta of your choice

    Preparation:

    1) Season chicken with salt,  pepper, and oregano. In a large Dutch Oven,  on medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, and brown the chicken 4 minutes on one side, and 2 minutes on other side. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TASTE, THE CHICKEN IS STILL RAW ON THE INSIDE. Set aside. Add 2 tbsp. oil, and repeat another batch.

    2) Remove chicken and set aside.  Keep the flame on, saute’ onions, garlic, deglaze with wine, and scrape the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken back, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, if needed, sugar, salt and pepper, garlic powder.  Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

    3) Uncover, add the bell peppers, stir, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

    4) In the meanwhile, in a small frying pan, over medium high heat, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, and butter,  saute’ the mushrooms until they are nice and brown. Add mushrooms to the chicken. Simmer another 30 minutes, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.

    5) While the chicken is simmering, boil the water for your pasta, according to package directions. Drain, and plate the dish as seen on my photo. Garnish with the parsley.

    Sauteed mushrooms

    Chicken Cacciatore
    Tips: * if breasts are too big, cut them up in 2 each. Warning, sometimes, there may be small bones in the sauce. Please let your guests or loved ones know ahead of time.

    Wine pairing: Any italian red table wine, such as a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Chianti, or Rosso.  Keep it simple and inexpensive to complement the hunter’s style theme.

    Happy Simmering!

    From My Kitchen to Yours,

     Gina

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