November 10, 2010

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian. In cuisine, "alla cacciatora" refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style" with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, often bell pepper, and sometimes wine ( I say always wine). 

Nothing can be more comforting to me than a dish braising away in one pot, where you have meat, veggies, and wine melding together for quite a bit of time.  Your end result is nothing but perfect harmonious bites of goodness.  Add some crusty bread and a great wine, and you've got yourself a magical meal to savor in.  

The Pioneer Woman did just that, with this very easy recipe, and once I tried it, I couldn't wait to share it with you.  

Come on, how can you resist crispy chicken braised in a delicate tomato sauce laden with mushrooms and peppers...all served over buttery egg noodles?   I know I can't.  I look forward to using duck instead of chicken the next time I make this.  

Oh, and the best part... my 3 year old daughter loved this chicken and even she couldn't resist this scrumptious dish.  

Check out Ree's fantastic  is one of my faves.  The Pioneer Woman Cooks!

Pairing Suggestion: A nice earthy Zinfandel would be great here.  If you're in the mood for a lighter red, go for Pinot Noir.  

Chicken Cacciatore
Slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 4-6 

1 pound egg noodles or pasta (once cooked, I add a little butter and fresh chopped parsley and chives)
8 whole chicken thighs, skin on (would be great with duck too)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 whole medium onion, halved and sliced
2 whole red bell peppers, cored and sliced (not too thin)
2 whole green bell peppers, cored and sliced (not too thin)
5 cloves of garlic, diced (I used 8 cloves...I love garlic...what can I say)
12 ounces mushrooms (white or crimini), sliced
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp kosher salt
crushed red pepper flakes, (to taste and optional) (I used 1/2 tsp
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used 3/4 sherry wine)
1 can (28 ounce) whole or diced tomatoes (with their juice)
chopped flat leaf parsley
parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Do not overcook!  Drain and set aside (this can be done when you are simmering your juices to make your sauce.

Salt and pepper both sides of chicken.  Dredge chicken in flour.  Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven on the stove top over medium-high heat.  Place chicken skin side down in pan, four pieces at a time.  Brown chicken on both sides ( the crispier, the better), then remove to a clean plate.  Repeat with remaining chicken.  Pour off half the fat in the pan and discard.  

Add sliced onions and peppers, as well as the garlic, stir around for 1 minute.  Add mushrooms and stir for another minute.  Add thyme, turmeric and salt.  If you are using crushed red pepper, this is where you would add..go on...give it a little kick!  Add extra black pepper to taste.  Stir, then pour in wine.  Allow to bubble.

Pour in canned tomatoes and stir to combine.  Add chicken back into the pan, skin side up, without totally submerging the chicken.  Place lid on the pot and put it into the oven for 45 minutes.  Remove lid and increase heat to 375 degrees.  Cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven.  Remove chicken from the pot and place it on a plate.  Remove vegetables from pot and place them on a plate.  Return pot to burner and turn heat to medium high.  Cook and reduce sauce for a couple of minutes. 

Pour cooked, drained noodles on a large platter or in a big serving bowl.  Add vegetables all over the top, then place chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.  Spoon juices from the pot over the chicken and egg noodles (amount to taste.)

Before serving, sprinkle on chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan.

Do nothing but enjoy your meal!!


♥peachkins♥ said...

your chicken cacciatire is mouthwatering!

Kendra said...

Thank you! It is so easy! You would enjoy!
I love your website! Brings me back to my childhood and what my mom used to make!!!