Classic Chicken Cacciatore

Classic Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore, translating to “hunter’s chicken” in Italian, is a traditional Italian dish where chicken is braised in a savory tomato sauce with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and herbs. It’s a warm and comforting meal, perfect for a family dinner. Below is a simple yet delicious recipe to make your own Chicken Cacciatore.

– 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
– 1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
– 1 cup dry white wine
– 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1 teaspoon dried basil
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish

1. **Prepare the Chicken:**
* Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
* Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.

2. **Sear the Chicken:**
* Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
* Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and sear until the skin is golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
* Flip the chicken and sear the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

3. **Sauté the Vegetables:**
* In the same skillet, add the chopped onion, sliced bell peppers, and mushrooms.
* Sauté until the vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes.
* Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

4. **Deglaze and Combine:**
* Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
* Allow the wine to simmer and reduce by half.
* Stir in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes (if using), and season with salt and pepper to taste.
* Return the seared chicken thighs to the skillet, nestling them into the sauce and vegetables.

5. **Bake the Cacciatore:**
* Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.
* Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, and the sauce is thickened.

6. **Serve:**
* Garnish with fresh basil or parsley before serving.
* Serve the Chicken Cacciatore over pasta, polenta, or with a crusty loaf of bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Enjoy your hearty and flavorful Classic Chicken Cacciatore!