Chicken Cacciatore (Hunter Style Chicken)

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.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • Salt
  • 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)

Method

1 Brown the chicken: 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.

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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 Sauté the onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic: Add the sliced onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms to the pan. Increase the heat to medium high.

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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 Deglaze pan with wine, add tomatoes, spices: 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.

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Stir in the pepper, thyme, oregano, and about a teaspoon of salt. Test and taste to adjust. Simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes.

4 Add chicken back to pan, partially cover, cook until tender: 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.

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.

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