Chicken Cacciatore

When I was little my dad used to make a dish I called “saucy chicken.”  It usually had some tomatoes in it, onions and garlic for sure and the rest I can only vaguely remember.  It was always a little different and it was always good.  25 some odd years later I realize I make something pretty similar to this myself and it’s basically a riff on chicken cacciatore.  It becomes home to whatever you have in your fridge that would add flavor – have wine, throw it in, maybe capers or olives, perhaps basil or parsley. wpid-20150526_185703.jpg I am pretty sure he never based it off of a recipe (and if he did, pipe up dad!) and my version doesn’t really either – it’s just an amalgamation of delicious italian ingredients that all cooked together are pretty much going to be good.  Cacciatore is supposed to mean “hunters chicken” because it’s stewed and comforting but as long as you include lighter ingredients there is no reason why it can’t be a summer or year round meal.  I served it over pasta with a green salad but it would be great with rice or even garlic bread for dunking.  As I was cooking I kept having to remind myself to write down what I was doing so I could actually post a recipe because its such an organic thing to just start throwing in things that I think will taste good.  This freezes really well so make the whole recipe even if just for 2.

Chicken Cacciatore (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   too many to count from Marcella to Giada to my pops

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 bone in skin on chicken breasts – lately these have just been massive at the grocery store so I suggest one breast per two people (cut them in half) but you can scale up to 1 breast per person if they are normal sized or you are super hungry!
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper sliced (red is traditional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (optional but nice touch)
  • 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon calabrian chili paste or red pepper flakes
  • 3 sprigs of basil (approximately 10 leaves), chopped
  • 1 pound pasta (or other side like rice or polenta)
  • shaved parmesan or pecorino to serve

In a dutch oven or large skillet with a lid heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  In a shallow bowl mix flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts (dredging is a fancy way of saying toss the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess).  Brown the chicken in the pan, 3 or so minutes per side until they are golden, then remove and set aside.  Add a little more oil if you need and add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes until softened, being careful not to burn the garlic (turn down the heat if needed).  Add the white wine and tomatoes to the pan and use that liquid to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. wpid-20150526_183811.jpg Nestle the chicken breasts back in the pan then raise the heat till it starts boiling.  Once its at a boil, cover the pan and lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 30-40 minutes depending on how large the chicken breasts are, turning the chicken once during cooking.  Slice into the chicken if you need to check to see if its done.  While the chicken is simmering its a good time to make the pasta if that’s what you are serving it with.  Once the chicken is done I like to serve it over the pasta with chopped basil and shaved parmesan or pecorino cheese.

Chicken Cacciatore

  • Servings: 4
  • Print
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 bone in skin on chicken breasts – lately these have just been massive at the grocery store so I suggest one breast per two people (cut them in half) but you can scale up to 1 breast per person if they are normal sized or you are super hungry!
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper sliced (red is traditional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (optional but nice touch)
  • 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon calabrian chili paste or red pepper flakes
  • 3 sprigs of basil (approximately 10 leaves)
  • 1 pound pasta (or other side like rice or polenta)
  • shaved parmesan or pecorino to serve

In a dutch oven or large skillet with a lid heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  In a shallow bowl mix flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts.  Brown the chicken in the pan, 3 or so minutes per side until they are golden, then remove and set aside.  Add a little more oil if you need and add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds.  Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes until softened, being careful not to burn the garlic (turn down the heat if needed).  Add the white wine and tomatoes to the pan and use that liquid to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom.  Nestle the chicken breasts back in the pan then raise the heat till it starts boiling.  Once its at a boil, cover the pan and lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 30-40 minutes depending on how large the chicken breasts are, turning the chicken once during cooking.  Slice into the chicken if you need to check to see if its done.  While the chicken is simmering its a good time to make the pasta if that’s what you are serving it with.  Once the chicken is done I like to serve it over the pasta with chopped basil and shaved parmesan or pecorino cheese.

3 Comments

  1. Carol Crawford, aka AC says:

    Hmm…my comment is regarding the enchiladas…Auntie Jan made them and they were fabulous! I know you saw via Margaret our toast to you (with your Margaritas as well! ). Outstanding.

    Like

  2. Ashley says:

    This is ridiculously unrelated but Dave discovered a panko mix that they sell at Whole Foods that has recently become our go-to for chicken, pork and fish. I add in a little extra salt & pepp, dunk meat in egg then the panko mix and bake a bit and comes out perfect every time. Stuff is awesome if you haven’t tried I would recommend! This is what it looks like: http://www.theglutenfreeshoppe.com/default/jeff-nathan-gluten-free-panko-flakes-seasoned.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=feed&gdftrk=gdfV23764_a_7c3437_a_7c13446_a_7c073490132094&gclid=CIiz1p3xy8YCFVGAaQod3GoBBA

    Like

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