I debated whether to share this recipe now that it’s Springtime. The other name for Chicken Cacciatore is Hunter’s Stew and stew, to me, seems like a fall/winter dish. But then I came to my senses and remembered that chicken is a year-round dinner reality for many of us, while stew usually gives us enough food for now AND later.
Why This Works: I’ve mentioned before that I’m originally from New Jersey, home to a large Italian-American population. This Jersey Girl has tasted a lot of finger-kiss worthy red sauce classics -- it’s totally my comfort food. While not all Italian food is created equal, this recipe from Food52 comes through big time. Mwah (finger kiss and a wink)!
The Verdict: Sometimes as adults we discover that the food we loved so well in childhood is not as great as we remember. It’s familiar, and often that’s good enough. However in this case, we can have it all. Comforting classics from childhood delivered in a satisfying, foodie-approved stew. Yes please, and thank you!
The only change I’ll make next time is to use skinless chicken parts. The skin adds a little fat and flavor to the stew, but the downside is fishing out the skin when it’s time to serve. No biggie, that’s an easy fix.
Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe source: inpatskitchen via Food 52
- Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel seed
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- One 14- to 15-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 8 ounces chicken broth
- ¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup torn fresh oregano leaves
- Grated parmesan for serving
- Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving
- Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about 1/4 inch, and heat.
- Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.
- Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.
- Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.
- Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
- After the 30 to 40 minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy!