Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Authentic Chicken Cacciatore

olive oil, as needed
1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
kosher salt
2 large onions, sliced
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cups dry white wine
2 (28-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes, passed through the food mill or pureed
1 bundle thyme
3 bay leaves

Preparing the cacciatore:
Coat a large, wide pot with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Season the chicken with salt and brown in the hot oil, working in batches, if needed. Once all the chicken is brown, remove to a plate and discard most of the excess fat.

If needed to coat the bottom of the pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and crushed red pepper, season with salt, and sweat over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the peppers and cook until they are soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until they are soft. Add the white wine and reduce by half.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes; taste for seasoning. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Check the level of the sauce periodically during the cooking process and replenish it with water as needed; the level of liquid should be about even with the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a pretty serving platter. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed. Skim the surface of the sauce if excessively greasy. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Serves 4 to 6


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