I have been experimenting with chicken cacciatore recipes for about 7 years now, and they have always disappointed. You see what I am trying to emulate is the chicken cacciatore that was made at the Hilton lunch buffet where I grew up – I could never get enough of it. Each recipe I tried had something wrong with it, either the chicken itself tasted funny, or there was not enough of an olive flavour, or the tomato sauce was too tangy. What i have done here is start by making a mellow tomato sauce (mellowing it out by allowing to simmer on low heat) then refreshing the tastes by adding red and green pepper. Mushrooms add texture and olives give it the final finish.
This is an extremely family friendly dish, I hope that you enjoy. Happy cooking xx
1 size 16 chicken (jointed into 4 pieces – ask your butcher to do this for you to save time)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
½ cup dry white wine
800ml (28 oz) diced Italian tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried oregano,
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup pitted kalamata olives
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the pieces in flour, coating them lightly and tapping off excess flour.
- In a deep, wide saucepan, heat the oil with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until a piece of chicken dipped in the oil gives off a very lively sizzle.
- Add as many pieces of chicken to the pan as will fit without touching. Do not crowd chicken; if skillet is not wide enough to fit all of the chicken, brown it in batches. Remove the chicken from the skillet as it browns,
- Once all the chicken has been browned and set aside, Add the chopped onions to the fat remaining in the pan and cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
- Pour the wine into the pan, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and oregano, season lightly with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, tuck the chicken into the sauce, adjust the heat to a gentle boil and cover the pan. Cook, stirring a few times, 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and peppers and toss until the peppers are wilted but still quite crunchy, about 8 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt.
- Stir the peppers and mushrooms and the olives into the pan with the chicken. Cook, covered, until the chicken and vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Check the level of the liquid as the chicken cooks. There should be enough liquid to barely cover the chicken. If necessary, add small amounts of water to maintain the level of liquid as the chicken cooks.
- Adjust your seasoning and serve!
Happy cooking xx