Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style" with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers, and sometimes wine. In the north of Italy white wine might be used, vs. the south who would generally use red wine.
- 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 12 baby portobello mushrooms sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crush and leave whole or finely chopped
- 3/4 cup Italian red wine
- 1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves or Italian herb blend
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves and parsley for granish
1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
2. In a large heavy pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook just until brown, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Do not over crowd the pan as the chicken will not brown. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, I suggest do it in 2 batches.
3. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.
This makes a great slow-cooker recipe, after step 4, I transfer all my chicken, onion and bell peppers to the ceramic dish of my slow cooker, and then, I continue with step 5. Note that steps 1-4 can be done the night before, cooled, and then, the next day, placed into the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low- this cooking time is for bone-in chicken, but check your slow-cooker for cooking times, as all machines are differant. This entre is great served over a bowl of Polenta, on a plater family style, or with a great crusty loaf of Italian bread, and of course a nice glass of red wine.