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Monday, February 22, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

There is no "one" recipe for Chicken Cacciatore.  Just like everyone has their own recipe and their own way for making "sauce", everyone has a different way and recipe for making Chicken Cacciatore.  The main concept does not change; meaning the dish is made up of chicken, peppers and olives in a tomato based sauce.  Most people use a red wine to flavor the sauce, but I like mine a bit lighter in taste and color so I use white wine and chicken  broth.  I use two kinds of olives; kalamata and spanish green. I add a bit of the olive juice for flavor. I also love the look of mult-icolored peppers (green, red, orange and yellow).  I serve this dish along side some egg noodles, couscous or creamy polenta. I also made some Brocolli with Garlic & Breadcrumbs (see future post for recipe)This dish is truely Italian peasant food and it should not go without a nice hunk of crusty italian bread and a glass of chianti! 

  • 4 lbs. chicken  pieces ( I prefer boneless & skinless thighs and cut up breasts)
  • 2 cups flour for dredging
  • olive oil for browning chicken
  • 6 garlic cloves - roughly chopped
  • 2 cups white wine (halved)
  • 2 white onions - cut in half and then sliced into 1/2 inch. slices
  • 5-6 assorted bell peppers (green, red, orange, yellow) cut into 1/2 inch. strips
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (12 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup spanish green olives
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken broth (depends on how thick or thin you want the sauce)
  • oregano, basil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper for taste
  • garnish with chopped italian parsley and fresh grated parmesan cheese
  1. Clean and remove fatty pieces from chicken.  Dredge chicken in flour.
  2. Using a very large fry pan or paella pan - add olive oil to coat bottom of pan.  Heat.  Working in batches add chicken pieces browning on both sides - about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  If needed add more olive oil to coat bottom and continue with second batch of chicken.
  3. Remove chicken from pan after each batch and set aside.
  4. Add garlic cloves and saute for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add onions and saute for 2 more minutes.
  6. Add 1 cup of white wine and "deglaze" the bottom of the pan - heat should be on medium high. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  7. Turn heat to medium low.  Add all bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, olives, 1 cup of chicken broth, and spices.  Stir well.  Cook for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add chicken back into pan nestling the pieces in a single layer among the peppers and onions and sauce.
  9. Cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour.
  10. If sauce is too thick you can add the second cup of wine and second cup of chicken broth.
  11. Serve over egg noodles, pasta or polenta.

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