Monday, April 22, 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

Here's a classic recipe that seems like a lot of work, but it's really not difficult at all. All you're doing is browning some chicken, and then throwing a bunch of things into the pot. That's not so difficult, right? And since everyone has heard of this dish, they'll all be impressed when you make it for them. It's true! As soon as you say that you'll be serving Chicken Cacciatore, everyone goes OOOO and AAAHHH.... but they don't have to know how simple it was to make! It can be our little secret I promise I won't tell! It's hearty and delicious too! Perfect for  a Sunday supper.
Try it!

8 chicken thighs, skin on
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
4 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter 
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb sliced mushrooms, any kind
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 28 oz can tomatoes
handful of parsley
Parmesan cheese
1 lb wide egg noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
 Salt and pepper both sides of the pieces of chicken. Dredge chicken in flour. Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven on the stove top over medium-high heat. Place chicken skin down in pan, a few pieces at a time. Brown chicken on both sides, then remove to a clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off half the fat in the pan and discard.
Add sliced onions and peppers, as well as the garlic. Stir and saute for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and continue to saute for another minute or two. Add thyme, and salt and pepper. (And crushed red pepper flakes if you like things a little spicy.) Add extra black pepper to taste, if you like. Stir, then pour in wine. Allow to bubble.
Pour in canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Add chicken back into the pan, skin side up, without totally submerging the chicken. Place lid on the pot and put it into the oven for 45 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to 375 degrees. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven. Remove chicken from the pot and place it on a plate. Remove vegetables from pot and place them on a plate. Return pot to burner and turn heat to medium high. Cook and reduce sauce for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, cook noodles according to package directions. 
Pour cooked, drained noodles onto a large platter or into a big serving bowl. Add vegetables all over the top, then place chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Spoon juices from the pot over the chicken and pasta (amount to taste.)
Before serving, sprinkle on chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan.

If you're not a fan of chicken skin, still cook the chicken with the skin on, and then just discard it after the dish is finished cooking. It really helps the chicken to stay nice and moist.
I always use chicken thighs because I think they work best with this recipe. 

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