Jul 14, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

Cacciatore (English pronunciation: /ˌkɑːtʃəˈtɔəriː/) means "hunter" in Italian. In cuisine, "alla cacciatora" refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style" with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, often bell pepper, and sometimes wine. Cacciatore is popularly made with braised chicken (pollo alla cacciatora) or rabbit. The salamino Cacciatore is also a small salami, popular amongst Italians.

There are many different variations of this dish based upon ingredients available in specific regions. For example, in southern Italy, cacciatore often includes red wine while northern Italian chefs might use white wine.

Oh so many things to say about this... but I will let the recipe speak for itself. This is a very basic cacciatore recipe. If you want to vamp it up, go right ahead, but the flavors in this really speak for themselves. My pictures are sans mushrooms... because I ended up not having any when I thought that I did. Oops. It is amazing mushrooms or not.

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
dried basil
4 lbs of chicken cut up (you can use breast meat, thighs, an entire chicken, whatever your heart desires)
Olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 or 4 shallots, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large green bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 6 or 8 oz can tomato paste
1 tomato paste can of water
1 28 oz can dices or crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c red wine (optional)
2 cups mushrooms sliced or quartered

Chicken Cacciatore
Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl.

Dredge your chicken pieces.
Chicken Cacciatore
In your large pot heat some oil and brown up your chicken. Feel free to do this in several batches, you want your chicken to be able to brown and crisp up, overcrowd and that won't happen right.
Chicken Cacciatore
Once all of your chicken is browned and removed from the pot add in your onion, garlic, and green peppers.
Chicken Cacciatore
Saute until softened and starting to carmelize.
Chicken Cacciatore
Add in your tomato paste and let the heat melt it into your veggies. Then add in the can of water and tomatoes. If you are not dredging you chicken omit the extra can of water. The flour coating on the chicken helps to thicken the sauce considerably.
Chicken Cacciatore
Add in your cooked chicken, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, and wine if using.
Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Cacciatore
Cover and simmer about thirty minutes. Add in your mushrooms and simmer another ten minutes.
Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Cacciatore
Plate and serve! I served mine with orzo pasta, but you can eat it alone, or over any type of pasta. You can also add in potatoes and other items to make it more stew like. Enjoy!

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