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Chicken Cacciatore
"Hunter Style" Sauce with Tomatoes & Peppers


Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

Cacciatore is Italian for "Hunter", and this hunter-style sauce is believed to have been created to bring out the flavor of fresh game. Chicken legs, thighs or breasts are braised in this flavorful sauce of tomato, bell pepper and mushroom. Because of the cooking method and the dish's flavor profile, bone-in, skin-on chicken works best. It will stay nicely moist and has that extra flavor that marries beautifully with the bold tastes in the sauce.

Tomato-based sauces cry out for red wine, but the lightness of the chicken demands a light-or medium-bodied option rather than a fruit bomb. This week's "Steal", a Malbec from Argentina, is surprisingly easy-going for the grape and region and makes a nicely balanced choice with this dish. For our "Splurge" we go to Italy (it is Cacciatore after all) for a special Riserva bottle of Chianti Classico.

Wine Pairing

2009 Fattoria Vitticio Chianti Classico Riserva 2007
A New World style of Chianti, with forward dark fruit flavors and notes from oak aging. ($30)
Buy at Wine.com

2011 Belasco de Baquedano "Llama" Malbec, Mendoza
Complex, appealing nose with notes of red fruit and earth. S
urprisingly light but flavorful. ($15)
Buy at Wine.com

Chicken Cacciatore Ingredients:

2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs and legs, with skin on
1 lb fusili pasta
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1 large yellow onion halved then sliced
1 green bell pepper sliced into strips
1 clove of garlic
4 oz white mushrooms sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil


Chicken Cacciatore Cooking Instructions:

1.) Roughly chop onion and pepper. Slice mushrooms and finely dice garlic. 2.) Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, and season skin-side with fresh ground pepper and salt.

3.) Heat olive oil over high in a large enamaled pot and brown chicken about 2 minutes starting with the skin-side down, and then turning over for another 2 minutes.

4.) Remove chicken and reserve. Reduce heat to med, add butter, onions and garlic, then cook down for 4-5 minutes.

5.) Next add pepper, and cook for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly.

6.) Add white wine to deglaze, using a wooden spoon to scrape up and dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

7.) Finish with oregano, basil, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

8.) Place chicken back into pot, skin-side up, then adjust heat to keep at a low simmer for 45 minutes uncovered.

9.) While the chicken is simmering, fill a large pot halfway with salted water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook 8-12 minutes, depending on package instructions.

10.) Drain pasta, toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, then mix with cacciatore sauce and serve!



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