John's parents came over for dinner this evening, so we wanted to cook up something nice (but not too difficult... it is the "day of rest" after all).We were mulling over menu ideas this morning, and chicken cacciatore randomly popped into my head, so John pulled this recipe off of the Cooks Illustrated web site. The chicken simmers in a rich red wine sauce along with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and herbs. We served this up with some egg noodles, a salad, and some crusty bread. I'm not entirely sure how "authentic" this dish is (I really haven't had much chicken cacciatore in my life), but we all really enjoyed it. We had John's amazing apple pie for dessert, so I'd say this was a great Sunday meal all around.
8 bone in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion , chopped
6 ounces portobello mushroom caps (about 3 medium), wiped clean and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 medium cloves garlic , minced
1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind (2 inches, about 1 ounce), optional
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage leaves
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add four chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook, not moving them until skin is crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes; using tongs, flip chicken and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer browned chicken to large plate; brown remaining chicken thighs, transfer to plate, and set aside.
2. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot. Add onion, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until moisture evaporates and vegetables begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, remove and discard skin from browned chicken thighs. Add garlic to pot and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add wine, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen brown bits. Stir in stock, tomatoes, thyme, cheese rind (if using), 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit salt if using cheese rind), and pepper to taste. Submerge chicken pieces in liquid and bring to boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes, turning chicken pieces with tongs halfway through cooking. Discard cheese rind, stir in sage, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, and serve.
Note: For the wine, we used an Italian Sangiovese. I have no idea if that's the best wine to use in this dish or not, I just know that I like saying it and drinking it.
Download a printable recipe here!