Chicken Cacciatore

There’s just something about a classic dish that imparts the warmness of family, happy times, great anticipation for dinner, and wisdom from the elders.  Of course I’m getting a little carried away but I do have some great memories of my Aunt June associated with this recipe.  Some people have signature dishes, you know, something they can make with eyes closed.  Aunt June could make Chicken Cacciatore like nobody else.  Aunt June and Uncle Ralph could also make some seriously eye-popping homemade egg nog, but that’s another story.  I’ve had Aunt June’s recipe in my little index box for years, and years.  Too many years.  I tweaked her basic dish a little, blending it with ideas from Southern Living.  I’m extremely pleased with this hearty weekend meal.  The only thing missing was a big hunk of crusty bread.  How did I forget the bread?  Sheesh.

 The recipe calls for mixed chicken pieces.  I believe I’ll use all thighs next time.  Having chicken pieces similar in size makes it easier to cook.  In addition to 3 pounds of chicken, you’ll need flour, salt, pepper, olive oil, onion, garlic, red wine, fresh mushrooms, whole canned tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, one green pepper and one red pepper.  And you can serve this on hot cooked spaghetti or polenta.  Oh yeah, don’t forget the crusty bread!
 In a small mixing bowl, combine the whole canned tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.
 Remove the skin from the chicken pieces and set aside.  In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of seasoned salt such as Lawry’s.
 Rough chop the onion and mince the garlic.
 Clean and slice the red and green peppers into strips.
 I noticed something different about this red pepper.
 Growing in the middle was another pepper.
 I removed the little one and felt sort of bad like I performed a c-section or something.  You think I have baby on the brain these days or what?
 Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.
 Brown the chicken in batches in hot oil in a large skillet.  Remove the chicken to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
 Add the onion and garlic to the same skillet with the drippings.  Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
 Add the red wine to the onion mixture and cook over medium-high heat until the wine evaporates.
 Stir in the mushrooms and the tomato mixture.
 I transferred the entire mixture to a large dutch oven because a large skillet wasn’t big enough.  Next add the peppers and chicken pieces.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.  Discard the bay leaves.
 Serve over hot spaghetti or polenta.
Enjoy!

Chicken Cacciatore
(adapted recipes from Aunt June Martino and Southern Living)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 pounds assorted chicken pieces or thighs, skinned
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 dry red wine
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained and halved
1 (6-ounce) tomato paste
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
Polenta or hot cooked spaghetti

Combine the flour, salt, seasoned salt and pepper.  Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat and add the olive oil.  Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and brown in small batches.  Remove chicken to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.  Reserve drippings.

In a small mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves.  Set aside.

Cook the onion and garlic in the drippings over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the red wine and cook over medium-high heat until the wine evaporates.  Stir in the mushrooms, the tomato mixture and the peppers.  Add the browned chicken pieces.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce the heat.  Simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.  Discard bay leaves and serve over hot cooked spaghetti or polenta.

~~~~~

Happy Wednesday – we’re halfway to the weekend!  3 more days until my daughter’s due date.  They won’t let her go much past a week overdue – so sometime soon I’ll have a grandson!  Stay tuned for baby updates :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tricia

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7 Comments

  1. says

    Oh, my!! This one sounds like comfort food on steroids!! YUMMMMMMM! Thank you so much for sharing the Aunt June/tweaked version!!<br /><br />Woo hoo! getting closer (BTW, nice successful c-section you did)!! Waiting on the news.<br /><br />Tricia, I was able to get a nice discount on the granite because they had one slab leftover from a job they had done and it was enough to do our weekender

  2. says

    YUM!!!! WEve recently discovered chicken piccata and this looks a bit like the red wine (or slightly richer/ less sharp) sister. Very keen to try this ASAP! You know I was thinking of you and your little expected one when I woke up this morning… wondering if the big day had come – exciting!

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