The idea to make this recipe came as a request (thanks for the suggestion, Kristie!). Chicken Cacciatore is a traditional recipe from Naples. Cacciatore means hunter-style and would originally have been made with some type of game bird like pheasant. Now it is made with chicken, usually including both chicken breasts and thighs. I chose to use only chicken breasts, so if you use thighs you will want to double the initial simmering time for the chicken. You can also add mushrooms, which I omitted because of my great dislike of them.
Chicken Cacciatore is really the perfect mid-winter recipe. I heard the other day that this week is the most depressing of the year. It's easy to see why. There are no more half weeks at work in the near future, and those New Years resolutions are always such a downer. After all, who really wants to cut chocolate out of their diet? Of course, that's assuming you didn't quit after day 3 like I usually do. So, what better to brighten up those dreary January days than a recipe that looks like this with bright, beautiful colors. I'd eat it just for that. It doesn't hurt that it is delicious, too. Here's hoping that your January isn't as gross as the weather.
Adapted from Lidia's Italy
4 whole chicken breasts, fat trimmed
Salt and pepper
Flour for dredging
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a large onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup white wine
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juices
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper cut into strips
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put some flour on a plate. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.
- In a large pan, heat three tablespoons vegetable oil and two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Place the chicken in the pan and saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and brown the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Add the onions to the pan and saute about 2 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine boil for about 2 minutes to reduce the volume. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the chicken to the pan. Turn the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a separate pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and cook about 5 minutes. After the chicken has simmered for 15 minutes, flip the chicken over. Add the peppers to the chicken, cover the pan again, and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Ryan's rating of Chicken Cacciatore - 5. Dominic was giggling the whole time he ate his. I like to think he was enjoying it and not mocking me. I think I might be wrong.
1 - Awful. If you make this again I'll shove a fork in my eye.
2 - Meh. It's not my favorite, but I won't threaten self-harm if it shows up again.
3 - Good. I wouldn't feel forced to order a pizza behind your back.
4 - Great! I will fight you for the leftovers.
5 - Love it! Make it again tomorrow. Or immediately and I will bathe in it.