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Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

This dish gets A++ from everyone every time I make it. Plus the house smells great the whole time.

One of the reasons it's so good might be that the tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions are oven roasted first. Plus, don't forget to brine the chicken after cutting it into ten pieces. You can brine the chicken while the vegetables are roasting.

This recipe will make six servings, probably with some leftovers. If you are cooking for just one or two people, freeze the leftovers for some night when you want a yummy dinner but don't have time to cook.

The photo on the right shows it served with penne pasta, but other versions of pasta work well also. I think you will prefer some variety of pasta that will hold some juice rather than plain spaghetti, but if that's what you have, ok. You can also use rice.

Chicken Cacciatore

4 cups of coarsely chopped tomatoes, preferable Roma (plum) variety
8 ounces of small mushrooms (crimini or baby bellas or whatever's in your market
1 large onion, preferably red, thinly sliced
olive oil
red wine vinegar
garlic salt and pepper

1 chicken cut into ten pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 14 1/2 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth, canned or instant
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the prepared vegetables on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper, and toss them to coat. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring them around now and then. When they are browning around the edges, take them out of the oven, set them aside, and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Roasting Vegetables for Chicken Cacciatore

If you brined the chicken, drain, rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some of the chopped rosemary. Heat two tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Brown the chicken about six minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to a large bowl, and add the wine to the skillet, scraping up the browned goodies on the bottom of the skillet. This is called "deglazing" and adds flavor (Emeril calls it the yummies) to the dish. Then stir in the canned tomatoes, with their juice, and the chicken broth. Simmer for a few minutes and put the chicken back in the skillet.

Put the skillet in the oven, now at 350 degrees (you did remember to turn it down when you took the vegetables out, didn't you?) and roast uncovered for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, get the pasta ready.

For the pasta:
12 ounces gemilli or penne

Put 6-8 cups of water in a pot, drizzle in a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Bring back to a boil and cook for 10-12 minutes or whatever the package directions say, stirring now and then. If you use fresh pasta, it will cook faster. Drain the pasta in a colander, and return to the pot to keep warm.

Remove the chicken from the oven when it's done and add the roasted vegetables to the pan. As soon as the vegetables get re-heated, you're ready to serve.

Put the pasta in a large serving bowl, cover with the chicken, and sprinkle with some sliced basil and some capers, if you wish. Serve with a nice Italian wine and some bread with olive oil.


Copyright John P. Choisser - CookingDude.com 2005-2014