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Chicken Cacciatore (this time with tomatoes)



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Bob's Chicken Cacciatore with Tomatoes Recipe


Today’s recipe for Chicken Cacciatore with Tomatoes (also known as Chicken in Hunter’s Style) is a favorite of mine because it tastes great and it creates a tomato-based sauce that is the perfect destination for some good Italian bread. As I mentioned in a previous post, the original cacciatore did not use tomatoes. Whoever was the first to throw a few tomatoes into the original did us a great favor.

Basically, cacciatore with tomatoes is an anything goes dish. As long as chicken and tomatoes are in it, you can freeform the other ingredients. I like to use a mix of herbs and slivers of sweet peppers for flavor, color and texture, which is the most common version. You can find recipes that include olives, mushrooms or wine. I can imagine a tasty and spirited version with the addition of some hot banana (Hungarian) peppers. The chicken is braised slowly at low heat in the tomato sauce, which imbues the sauce and the poultry with deep flavor of whatever you decide to merge with the meat.

Ingredients

olive oil, regular and extra virgin
6-8 pcs chicken (I recommend dark meat.)
1 sm yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 each green, red and yellow or orange sweet peppers, cored and with the white ribs and seeds removed, sliced into thin strips
2 lg garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ c chicken broth or water
½ of a 35 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, including half of the juice, chopped or broken up with your fingers
2-1/2 T parsley, divided (2 T for cooking, ½ T for garnish)
2 tsp dried oregano leaves (not powder)
1 tsp dried thyme
4-5 leaves of fresh basil, torn by hand into a few pieces
salt and pepper

Heat some regular olive oil plus 2-3 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a lidded skillet that is large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to shimmer, thoroughly brown the pieces on all sides. Remove the chicken. In the same pan, sauté the onions until they become limp, add the peppers and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for 1-2 minutes, then add the broth or water. Scrape the bottom of the pan for anything that has stuck. Add the tomatoes and all of the herbs. Taste for salt and pepper. Bring the ingredients to a simmer and cook for a few minutes, then return the chicken to the skillet. Cover the skillet and cook at a gentle simmer for about 40 minutes. The time will depend upon the size of the chicken pieces. Turn the chicken from time to time. When it is nearly done, remove the lid, turn the heat to high and reduce the sauce until it is quite thick. Remove the chicken to a serving platter, pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the remaining parsley and you are ready to eat.

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