Note from Chef Ed:
One of Italy’s signature dishes that I like to make at home because of it’s wonderful flavor and price is Chicken Cacciatore. Literally meaning hunter’s chicken, it is the traditional way Italian hunters would prepare a chicken by braising it in wine with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms. It is a great way to make a change from typical Italian red tomato sauces, as this chicken is prepared with white wine, leaving a rose colored sauce for your pasta.
1 chicken, cut into pieces (or packs of split breasts and legs and thighs from your store, bone in, 4 to 6 pounds)
1 to 2 cups flour for dredging
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bell pepper (I prefer red, orange, or yellow as they are sweeter. Green bell peppers are often cheaper, however.)
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregeno
½ cup dry white wine
1 (about 3.5 oz) can of sliced black olives
1 (8 oz) package of mushrooms (white button, crimini, or baby portabellas)
Your favorite pasta, prepared according to the package (My favorite is Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardale, but you may use any pasta. I also recommend a larger tube pasta such as rigatoni.)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven until shimmering, and then add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides then remove chicken pieces and set aside.
- Sautee the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine the flavors.
- Return the chicken to the pan and add the white wine, diced tomatoes and their juices, and oregano. Also, drain the olives and add them to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover and continue simmering over medium low heat for a half an hour.
- Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add to the pot after the half-hour has passed. (Adding the mushrooms in late will ensure that they are not overcooked and rubbery when the meal is served.) Continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the chicken, serve over pasta in a deep plate, and top with broth and vegetables from the pot.