It’s a Chicken Cacciatore Kind of Day!

chicken cacciatore

It’s another frigid day here in Chicago, brutally cold weather with wind chill warnings, school closings and Artic air! You don’t have to convince me to stay inside. It’s definitely a comfort food kind of day, so a nice pot of slow cooked and braised Chicken Cacciatore it is!
fixings for chicken cacciatore Once the initial few steps are done, the browning of the chicken, sautéing your vegetables, deglazing, adding in your tomatoes, you can sit back for a couple of hours and let all the aromas fill your kitchen with comfort and warmth.

Chicken Cacciatore is a classic Italian dish also referred to as hunter’s stew, I make it a few times during the fall when the weather starts to turn and of course winter, and I just realized today that I never posted it on my blog, so here it is!

Carrots, onions, garlic, yellow and red peppers, assorted mushrooms, olives, spices, herbs, tomatoes and wine when slow cooked and reduced makes the most delicious sauce to soak into your chicken and the bonus is, it tastes just as good if not better the next day!

chicken cacciatoreA mixture of crimini and shiitake mushrooms add nice texture and flavor to the sauce as well as oregano, basil, parsley and thyme.

chicken cacciatore This is rustic food, family style, hearty and oh so satisfying! Boil up some pasta to soak up those juices or a nice creamy polenta.

chicken cacciatore Maybe some warm crusty bread? Either way I can assure you this dish is amazing and one of my family’s absolute favorites.

chicken cacciatore

Mangia! Mangia!

Chicken Cacciatore
  • 1 whole chicken, bone-in,skin on and each breast cut in half for smaller pieces
  • 8oz. mixed mushrooms, like crimini and shiitake
  • 1 onion, diced medium
  • 1 small yellow and red pepper, diced medium
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, shaved
  • pitted kalamata olives, a large handful
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz. can of tiny whole tomatoes or if not available just whole tomatoes.
  • Assorted herbs, parsley, basil, oregano and thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Season chicken with salt, pepper and sprinkled oregano.
  2. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet, drizzled with olive oil.
  3. Place chicken skin side down and do not move it until it reaches a deep golden brown and it's easy to turn, brown other side for a few minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Add vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, a few twigs of thyme, saute for 5 minutes.
  5. Add wine and let it reduce.
  6. Add chicken broth and tomatoes.
  7. Toss in 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and chopped fresh basil.
  8. Place the chicken back into the pan and sink into the juices.
  9. Simmer on low, stove top, for a couple of hours or until chicken falls off the bone. Uncovered.
  10. Garnish with fresh parsley.
  11. Serve with cooked pasta, polenta or warm crusty bread.

Lidia’s Chicken with Artichokes

I love Lidia, not only for her fantastic food, but for her down to earth, real, no gimmick, personality.
You won’t find any “Bam!” on her show, but what you will find is a warm, family oriented person, who shows her deep love for her Italian heritage, through her food, family and culture.

What I love about this one pot meal is that it’s simple, with good ingredients. Anything with my beloved artichokes makes me smile. Braise it on your stove top on a Sunday afternoon, and just the smell will make you happy!

You can serve this with polenta, rice, pasta, mashed potato’s or some good crusty bread to sop up the sauce!

You’ll want to use a nice heavy pot for this dish. When I was on vacation last year I happened across a Le Creuset outlet store, :)) I was deciding which one I should get, red or blue, tough choice! but as you can see in my first photo, I chose the red one.

I love how Lidia always gets her grand kids cooking in the kitchen with her, in hopes that the memories and smells, and taste’s, will be something that they can always recall when they are adults.
This is my grandaughter “B” Isn’t she cute? making some garlic bread for our dinner, a little picky in the food department right now, but we’re working on it!!
Here’s the recipe:

1 lemon for acidulated water (see below)
1 1/2 pounds baby artichokes
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/4 teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups (28 ounces) canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand (reserve the juices)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
To prepare the artichokes, fill a large bowl with a couple of quarts of cold water, and squeeze in the juice of a medium lemon (drop in the cut lemon halves too). Trim the artichokes one at a time, first snapping off the thick outside leaves, until you reach the tender, pale inner leaves. Trim the tip of the stem, but leave most of it attached to the base. With a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler, shave off the dark skin of the stem, exposing the tender core. Peel around the globe of the artichoke too, removing the dark-green spots where the tough leaves were attached. Cut across the leaf tips with a serrated knife, removing the top third of the artichoke. Slice the entire artichoke in half lengthwise, splitting the bulb and stem and drop the pieces into the acidulated water.
Rinse the chicken, and pat it dry. Cut it into 10 or 12 pieces (including backbone), and season with one-half teaspoon salt.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and lay the chicken pieces in it without crowding — cook them in batches if necessary. Brown the pieces for about 3 minutes on each side, until each is nicely colored on all sides. Remove the pieces to a platter or bowl.
When all the chicken is out of the pan, drop the crushed garlic into the hot fat and cook for a minute or two, until sizzling. Lift the artichokes out of the water, and drop them, still damp, into the saucepan. Stir well, and season them with one-half teaspoon salt and the peperoncino flakes.
Cook the artichokes for 4 or 5 minutes, tossing them often and deglazing the browned bits in the pan bottom. When the artichokes are dry and starting to take color, carefully pour in the wine and cook over high heat, stirring, until it is nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes longer.
Pour in the tomatoes with juices and 3 cups water; slosh the tomato container with some of the water to rinse juices into the pan. Cover the pan, and bring the liquid to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady bubbling, and cook the artichokes and sauce for about 15 minutes.
Return all the chicken pieces (and any accumulated juices on the platter) to the saucepan, submerging them in the sauce. Cover the pan and cook the chicken and artichokes together for about 40 minutes, after which the chicken should be nearly done, the artichokes tender and the sauce somewhat reduced. Set the cover ajar — or remove it altogether — and continue cooking 15 to 25 minutes or more, until the sauce has thickened and coats the chicken and artichoke pieces. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve immediately, or, for best flavor, let the chicken cool in the pot and reheat later. If the sauce has thickened, stir in a bit of water. Serve hot from the pan, or from a big bowl. Sprinkle parsley over it just before serving.
Serves 6.
— Adapted from “Lidia’s Italy
Buon Appetito!!!