Italian Chicken Cacciatore: A Hearty and Flavorful Feast
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Italian Chicken Cacciatore is a classic and rustic dish that embodies the heartiness and rich flavors of traditional Italian cuisine. Often referred to as “hunter-style chicken,” this recipe celebrates the simple yet bold combination of chicken, tomatoes, herbs, and aromatic vegetables.

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 2.5 to 3 pounds chicken pieces (such as thighs and drumsticks), skin-on, bone-in
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red and green), sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For Garnish

  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

1. Preparing the Chicken

  • Season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess.
  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the chicken on all sides until golden. Once browned, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Making the Sauce

  • In the same skillet, add chopped onions, sliced bell peppers, and minced garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.
  • Add sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté until they release their moisture.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, red wine, and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  • Add dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to infuse the sauce with herbs.

3. Simmering the Chicken

  • Return the browned chicken to the skillet, nestling it into the sauce.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the skillet and let it simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, allowing the chicken to cook through and absorb the flavors of the sauce.

4. Garnish and Serve

  • Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened, remove the skillet from heat.
  • Garnish the Italian Chicken Cacciatore with chopped fresh parsley and, if desired, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

5. Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the Chicken Cacciatore over cooked pasta, polenta, or with crusty Italian bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • A side of green vegetables or a simple salad complements the richness of the dish.

6. Enjoy the Italian Feast

Dive into this hearty and flavorful Italian Chicken Cacciatore, savoring the combination of tender chicken, vibrant vegetables, and aromatic herbs.

Tips for Perfect Italian Chicken Cacciatore

  1. Browning the Chicken: Ensure the chicken pieces are well-browned before simmering. This step enhances the flavor and texture of the dish.
  2. Herb Infusion: Dried herbs work well in this recipe, but you can also use fresh herbs for a burst of additional flavor. Add them towards the end of cooking.
  3. Wine Choice: Choose a dry red wine that you enjoy drinking. The wine contributes depth and complexity to the sauce.
  4. Sauce Consistency: Adjust the consistency of the sauce by simmering uncovered if it needs to thicken or adding more broth if it becomes too thick.
  5. Make-Ahead: This dish tastes even better the next day. Consider making it ahead of time and reheating for an easy and delicious meal.
  6. Customization: Feel free to add olives, capers, or even a pinch of red pepper flakes for a personalized touch.

Final Words

Italian Chicken Cacciatore is a soul-satisfying dish that brings the warmth of Italian kitchens to your table. With its robust flavors and aromatic herbs, this recipe is a celebration of simple ingredients coming together in perfect harmony. Share this Italian feast with loved ones and relish in the joy of savoring a comforting and timeless classic. Buon appetito! (Enjoy your meal!)

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