Chicken Cacciatore

I remember the smell of Chicken Cacciatore cooking in the kitchen and my Dad working over the stove.  The aroma was awesome.  We used to eat ours with white rice.  The sauce the chicken created when finished was the perfect topping for the rice.  The heavy cast iron frying pan had flour coated pieces of a whole chicken, sizzling and creating a crust.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  I’ve tried to make the dish a little healthier but still trying to capture the flavor.  Obviously, if you want Dad’s, leave the skin on and use all parts of the chicken.  Read on!

16 skinless chicken thighs, extra fat removed, leave enough for the sizzle

Bell peppers- 2 green, 2 red and 2 any other color, cut into large pieces

2 medium sweet onions

5 Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

12 -15 baby bella mushrooms, quartered

28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of good white wine, not too sweet

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 cup of tipo “00” flour from Napoli

salt and pepper to taste

Salt and pepper the chicken well. Dredge in flour.  Put half the oil in a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil and add chicken not turning until it browns.  Medium high heat works best. Once browned on one side, turn over.  This is a quick process since you want it to brown, not cook, through.  Remove from pan, add wine and scrape the bottom.  Add all the vegetables except mushrooms.  Cook about 5 minutes then put chicken back in and top with tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, remove lid and cook 10 more minutes to reduce sauce. Remove from heat and add the rest of the olive oil and mix in.  NOTE:  Be generous with olive oil – if you need more to fry, then add more.  If you are serving it with rice or quinoa, put chicken and vegetables over the top individually.  Add basil and serve hot.

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