Chicken Cacciatore

by Susan Hanna

This recipe from Food52 is great comfort food for a chilly fall night. Dredge chicken thighs in flour, brown them and set aside. Fry some bacon and cook peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Season, add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock, return the chicken to the pan and braise until done. Toss in some fresh herbs, serve over pasta or polenta and sprinkle some grated parmesan on top.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for nitrite-free bacon and spices without colour or anti-caking agents. I used Imagine organic chicken stock, Unico canned tomatoes and Molisano tomato sauce, which contains only tomatoes and salt. Genuine parmesan cheese contains no artificial ingredients. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) 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 (113 g) white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 1 (14 to 15-ounce/414 to 144 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 8 ounces (236 ml) tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces (236 ml) chicken broth
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh oregano leaves
  • Grated parmesan for serving
  • Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving

Preparation:

  1. Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about ¼ inch (0.64 cm) and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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! 

From Food52