Sometime in 2014 (might have been the fall season), I made this dish, chicken cacciatore. And although it’s a labor of love, it was certainly worth it. This dish originated in Italy among the hunters back then. In fact, it’s called a hunter’s meal. Being out in the fields away from home, they had to make do with what was on hand. As such, rabbit or chicken was the main ingredient in regards to protein. Of course, wild mushrooms and other veggies like onions, garlic, etc were part of the dish.
Over the years, cooks/chefs around the around placed their spin on the dish.Depending on the region in Italy, some cooks will add white or red wine. It is said that the authentic cacciatore doesn’t consist of tomatoes; however, many cooks have incorporated this lycopene veggie so as to mask the taste of the ‘game’ taste of the rabbit.
Because I love tomatoes, and I’m don’t eat rabbit, I’ve chosen to cook my dish with same along with a little left-over red wine.
- Dark chicken (6 drumsticks/4 thighs)
- Mushrooms (any type) (1/2lb)
- Canned Italian crushed tomatoes (28 ozs)
- Fresh tomatoes (3)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Garlic (3 cloves)
- Onion (1 med)
- Scallion (3 sprigs)
- Parsley (for garnish)
- Dried basil/oregano
- Canola oil for searing chicken
- Whole wheat flour to dredge chicken
- Sugar (1 or 2tsps)
- Chicken parts were cut in smaller pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper and crush garlic for least a couple of hours.
- Before searing remove garlic pieces and dry with paper towel.
- In skillet or sturdy stockpot, drizzle a little oil to cover bottom.
- Lightly dredge chicken parts and brown on both sides and set aside. Ensure not to crowd skillet.
- Add chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes,mushrooms, and thyme and season along with salt and pepper and other dried seasonings along with red wine. Add a sprinkle of sugar to balance out the acid from the tomatoes and wine.
- Add back browned chicken parts to skillet and cover with lid.
- Allow chicken to stew under low to medium heat until they fall from the bone.
- Garnish with parsley.
- Serve with choice of pasta, crusty bread, rice, mashed Irish potatoes and roasted root veggies or a green salad.
Guys, this dish is certainly a crowd pleaser. And, the next couple of days in the refrigerator only makes it more succulent. Moreover, it freezes very well. The flavors are bold, super delicious, and will make you return for seconds.