My Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore is one of my go-to delicious meal ideas. It’s simple and fast enough to make after work, although like a good spaghetti sauce, it gets even tastier if it has more time to stew.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs and 4 legs
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • cremini mushrooms
  • one yellow onion
  • two green bell peppers
  • two red bell peppers (optional, changes the flavor)
  • 1.5 cups red wine*
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • dried oregano
  • Basmati (or other favorite) rice to serve on

*We keep a box of red wine in the pantry specifically for cooking because a number of our favorite recipes include red wine.  It stays sealed and fresher than an open bottle of wine.  We’ve really enjoyed the results of Bota Box wines such as their shiraz.

Preparation

Dust the chicken with flour and brown in olive oil.

Browning chicken thighs

While the chicken is browning, you can save some time by getting the mushroom started in the enameled dutch oven.  Slice the mushrooms and cook them in olive oil with the garlic.

Mushrooms and garlic

Set the chicken aside and use the chicken pan to brown the onions.

Mmmm onions

Core, de-seed and chop the bell peppers.  Once the mushrooms shrink down a bit, add the bell peppers.

Bell peppers

Add the onions.  Once you have all the vegetables in the pot, it helps to give them a chance to wilt down before you add the liquids.

All vegetables

Deglaze the chicken/onion pan with wine and add that to the pot to ensure you keep all the flavors.  Now add your chicken stock and red wine.

Adding chicken stock and red wine

Next add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano.

Tomatos & spices

Once the sauce components are all added, give everything a good stir and turn the heat up to medium-high to get it simmering.

Heat the sauce

Once it’s simmering, decrease heat to medium-low and add the chicken.

Adding chicken

Make sure that the sauce covers all the chicken.  Because the chicken all has bones, it’s easy to underestimate how much time it will take to cook through thoroughly.  To be sure it’s cooked through and tender, let it cook for 45 minutes to an hour.  Around 45 minutes in is a good mark to turn on a rice cooker if you’re using one.

Cooking through

The longer you cook it, the more it falls off the bone  and develops the sauce.  If you really want to make a rich flavorful dish, you can simmer it for a couple hours and let the flavors mingle in the fridge overnight and heat/serve the next day.  Regardless, just serve it over rice.  It’s delicious.

Served

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