Classic Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Food preferences will change automatically with the seasons; but we cannot ignore some dishes even it isn’t meant to be for that season. Such is chicken cacciatore. This stew like dish with herbs and vegetables is perfect meal for a cold autumn winter. But the aromatic stew with extremely tender chicken makes it irresistible even in other seasons. Try this recipe before summer finally hits you.
1 whole chicken (cut into pieces)
1 can of tomatoes (crushed)
¾ cup chicken broth (homemade, low sodium is preferred)
¾ cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper (diced)
Salt to your taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion (chopped)
4 medium sized garlic cloves (pressed)
1 cup mushrooms (different varieties mixed, quartered)
1 medium sized carrot (peeled and chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
Rinse the chicken under running water; dry off excess with paper towels. Season it with salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon oregano and 1 tablespoon thyme leaves.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high flame; using tongs, slowly lower the pieces skin side down into the hot oil. Be careful of the splatters; use a splatter screen if necessary. When one side completely browns, turn the pieces over to brown other side too. Transfer the pieces to a plate. Set aside.
Add finely chopped onion with pressed garlic to the oven; sauté for 2 minutes until onions become fragrant. Then add 1 cup mushrooms, chopped carrot and diced red bell pepper to the onions; sauté for 4 minutes until vegetables soften. Carrots take longer to soften. Chopping into small pieces would help you fix this problem.
Add ¾ cup dry white wine to the vegetables; stir to combine well. Cook for 3 minutes until whine reduces a bit. Now add ¾ cup chicken broth; stir to mix; bring to a boil.
Add crushed tomatoes with 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon basil leaves to the broth; taste the sauce; adjust spices and quantities to your requirements. Cook for 3 minutes with occasional stirring.
Adjust heat to low; Return chicken back to the Dutch oven; cover with a lid; cook for an hour until chicken becomes extremely tender and sauce has thickened to your preference; garnish with 2 tablespoons parsley leaves; serve hot with garlic bread, pasta and crunchy salads.
Notes & Tips:
For authentic Italian touch use more garlic in the sauce and a handful of black olives to garnish.
Dry white wine can be replaced with red wine.
If you don’t have fresh tomatoes use sun-dried variety.
To make it more colorful add all colors of bell peppers.
You may use boneless chicken but bone-in one makes the sauce more flavorful.