Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 6-8

Here’s a simple chicken, wine and tomatoes dish that tastes a lot more complicated and difficult than it really is. This is good any night but if possible prepare it one day ahead to let the flavors meld.


You’ll Need:

Flour, to coat chicken
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts trimmed of all fat and small bits. Cut each breast into three/four pieces depending on size
6-8 Boneless/skinless chicken thighs trimmed of all fat and small bits, cut in half
3/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 LB. white mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
3 red/green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth/stock
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, with their juice, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 oz. can tomato paste
6 leaves fresh (1 TLBS dried) basil, chopped

Here’s What To Do:

Place the flour in a shallow dish and coat the chicken pieces, shaking off any excess.

Heat the oil in a large saucepot over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken in batches and fry until golden brown on all sides. When all the chicken has been cooked, set it aside.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook until it turns golden brown.

Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until they release most of their liquid. Add the onion and bell peppers and sauté until the vegetables are soft, approximately 6 minutes.

Add the wine and let reduce for about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, crushed red pepper, salt, oregano and tomato paste. Return the chicken to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil just before serving.

This dish goes well with any noodle pasta or rice and tastes even better the following day.


What Goes With What Wines Selections

Antinori “Peppoli” Chianti Classico ’04 (Chianti)
’04 was a terrific year in Tuscany and the “Classico’ designation is the key to great Chianti. This is a nice step up to a well-structured wine with smooth, sweet tannins and nice length with fruity flavors. It’s a blend of Sangiovese, merlot and syrah but I don’t think this wine has the great stuff to age so it can be enjoyed now with our chicken dish, while the fruit is at its fullest expression. It has good red fruit aromas with light hints of vanilla and coffee. $22.00

Castoro Cellars Zinfandel ’05, Paso Robles (Zinfandel)
This Zinfandel is from the Paso Robles appellation in the Santa Barbara region where they are making some knockout wines. It has typical Zinfandel fruit with a slight raisin and spice note and a hint jamminess. $12.00

Chicken Cacciatore