Chicken cacciatore, an Italian hunter-style chicken braised in a tomato-based sauce with onions, garlic, and white wine.
This recipe calls for added wine, which is traditional. It does add to the flavor. If you have a dietary restriction that prohibits wine, just omit.
- One 4 pound chicken, cut into serving pieces, trimmed of excess fat (or 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of chicken thighs, bone in, skin on)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced root to tip, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, sliced into 1/4-inch wide slices
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup white or red wine
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups peeled and chopped, firm ripe tomatoes, with their juices, or 1 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes in their juice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped)
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano (or 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped)
1 Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season the chicken pieces on all sides with salt. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Working in batches so that you don't crowd the pan, place the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan. Cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes, then turn over and lightly brown the other side. Remove chicken to a bowl, set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. If you have less than 2 Tbsp of fat in the pan, add more olive oil until you have about that much oil coating the pan.
2 Add the sliced onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms to the pan. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook until the onions are translucent, and the mushrooms have given up most of their moisture, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and cook a minute more.
3 Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes. Stir in the pepper, thyme, oregano, and about a teaspoon of salt. Test and taste to adjust. Simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes. Place the chicken pieces on top of the tomatoes and onions, skin side up. Lower the heat and cover the skillet with the lid slightly ajar.
4 Cook the chicken on a low simmer, turning and basting from time to time. Cook until the thighs are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.