It has been awhile since I cooked a nice Italian meal for my wife. After all, she is the one who really turned me on to Italian cooking. She was the spaghetti and red sauce kind of gal before we got married. It was her go to meal, if you will. I am referring to the spaghetti sauce out of a can kind of girl. So I always like to think how lucky she is to have a guy like me. Kidding aside on that matter, I wanted to make her a dish that she probably has not had in quiet some time. I know she loved the dishes I made in the past like the chicken parmigiana, the chicken marsala, and the carbonara, but I wanted to add something onto the list that would knock her socks off. That is when I made this delicious chicken cacciatore.
Everyone probably has their own version of making chicken cacciatore, but this is mine. It is a simple sauce, yet complex in flavors, using common ingredients such as garlic, onion, and red bell pepper as the base of the sauce. How much easier could it be? Let’s find out.
- 6 chicken thighs
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper, plus additional for finishing
- 2 tsp salt, plus additional for finishing
- 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
- 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 cup of your favorite Chardonnay
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 tbsp capers, drained (or use about 6 olives, chopped)
- 1/2 lb of cooked spaghetti
- Crusty Italian bread
Begin by getting a large pot out. This dish is a one pot meal, and it is something that I really love doing. Bring to a medium heat.
As the pot is heating up, season your chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the flour to a large ziploc back, and toss in the chicken. Seal and give the bag a good shake, making sure you light coat all of the pieces of chicken with the flour.
Next, add the olive oil to the heated pot, letting it come to a shimmer. Take the chicken out of the bag, shaking to remove any excess flour, and add it, skin down into the pot. Add all of the chicken pieces, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook for about 4-6 minutes per side, then remove them to a plate. We will finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of your vegetables, or have them prepared in advance.
Toss your chopped onion, garlic, and red bell peppers into the pot, and cook until the onion is a bit tender, or begins to sweat. Add in your wine and increase the heat to a medium-high heat. You want to cook the wine until it reduces, making the beginning of a great gravy.
Next, toss in your tomatoes, some salt and pepper, oregano, stock, and your capers. Bring to a boil.
Submerge, the best that you can, the chicken into your cacciatore sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 25 minutes.
When you are ready to plate, take a serving bowl, something with slight depth, and add the cooked pasta. Then top with the chicken cacciatore, serving family style, alongside a basket of crusty Italian bread.
Your end result is a fall of the bone, tender chicken that is loaded with probably the best gravy in this world. The great hint of wine, and brininess from the capers is just something that keeps you eating. It is a dish that halts a conversation at the table, only coming up to say things like “wow”, “oh my”, “holy moly”. Yes, it is that good. Oh yeah, and the bread. Use the bread as your dunking tool, making sure to sop up all of the delicious cacciatore sauce.
If you are looking for a easy throw together meal, and one you could probably put in a slow cooker while you go to work, this would be the one you are looking for. I hope you enjoy.