Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore
This is an easy ‘One Pot’ meal – Make this for the fam on a chilly Sunday.
Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers, and sometimes wine. Cacciatore is popularly made with braised chicken or rabbit.
I don’t want to go in to tooooooo much detail about mother sauces and all, but this is the Italian rendition of Sauce Chasseur. Traditionally, while returning from the hunt, the hunters would pick the mushrooms that they would subsequently use for their preparation. Put it in a pot. Heat up and sit by the fire and high-five (I think)
We’re also using one of my favorite pastas to serve this dish over; bucatini. It’s a really good vessel to soak up the sauce and it’s fun to slurp up and make a mess – so you get to finally put a napkin down your front like a ‘real’ Italian.
Also, the wine pairing is super easy to drink and find. You don’t need to spend a ton of cash on this one.
Aaaaaaannnnnd! By request – I’m going to start including a Music Pairing too! I like to listen to music when I cook, so this will be fun to pair something ‘appropriate’ to the dish.
Cool huh?

Ok, here’s what you’ll need:
Chef knife
Cutting board
Large pot
Large bowl
Wooden spoon

6 Chicken Thighs – Bone In, Skin on (you can use skinless and boneless – or a whole fryer chicken cut up is fun too)
Kosher salt and Cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 large poblano pepper, diced
1 larger red pepper, diced
1/2 pound sliced fresh Crimini mushrooms
1 can sliced Black olives (or be a dumbass like me and stand over a cutting board slicing whole freaking olives – also, green olives are good in this too. It gives this another briny element that gives a good tang)
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, diced (Hunts has a fun ‘Fire Roasted’ product that’s really good – try it)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 cup Chicken stock (canned) – Unless you’re a badass and make your own
½ cup Red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh Oregano, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
Hot cooked pasta – (I use bucatini, it’s like spaghetti but with a hole that runs down the middle)
Grated Parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large pot, brown chicken on all sides in oil over medium-high heat. Remove chicken to platter.
In the same pot, cook and stir the garlic and onion.
Add the mushrooms and herbs and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly
Add the tomato paste and incorporate with the mushroom-herb mixture. You want to caramelize the paste to bring out the natural sugars.
Add the peppers and stir them in too. Cooking for 5 minutes…keep stirring so that shit don’t burn – you can reduce the heat to medium now.
Add the red wine vinegar – to deglaze the pan – It’ll be steamy – so watch your pretty little face
Add the bay leaves, the rest of the tomato products (sauce and diced tomatoes), the chicken stock, the sugar and the olives and stir.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Return chicken to the pot. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

*Chef Note: I actually like to make my pasta ahead first. I think the timing is always a bitch so I do it first. It’s gets me warmed up to actually cook. Boil it al dente, strain and run cold water over it so it stops cooking. Add a bit of olive oil to it so it doesn’t stick, put it in a large bowl, cover and hold it the fridge. To reheat – toss it in the hot sauce and serve
Yield: 6 servings.

Wine Pairing: Chianti Classico
Music Pairing: Swingers Soundtrack (Because you’re so money…)


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