This is a dish I first had back in Minnesota at Mamma Vitale’s restaurant in Minneapolis when I was a teenager. In the 90s when microwaveable dinners got better and became more popular, there was a frozen version in our local grocery store. I hadn’t seen it on a menu or had it in years. I was talking to my parents who said that one of the local restaurants makes it once in a while, and I figured that I could probably make it pretty easily at home. I found these two recipes, which are pretty similar. Try them and see which you like better. Hint: add the olives to both. They’re the cornerstone of this dish in my opinion.
Mama T’s Old School Chicken Cacciatore
I found this one on The Chew.
1 whole chicken* (separated into 8 pieces, about 3 – 3 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion (sliced)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 red bell pepper (sliced)
1 yellow bell pepper (sliced)
3/4 cup red wine
1- 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes **
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper (to taste)
crusty bread (to serve)
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a large high-sided saute pan or heavy-bottomed pot and place over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side-down and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side. Move chicken to the side of the pot.
Add the onions and garlic, and cook until soft. Add the bell peppers and sauté for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add a nice splash of wine—whatever is on hand—simmer until reduced by half. Add tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Partly cover pan and simmer for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve with warm crusty bread.
Chicken Cacciatore – Proud Italian Cook
I found this one on Proud Italian Cook
1 whole chicken, bone-in,skin on and each breast cut in half for smaller pieces *
8oz. mixed mushrooms, like crimini and shiitake
1 onion, diced medium
1 small yellow and red pepper, diced medium
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
5 garlic cloves, shaved
pitted kalamata olives, a large handful
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes **
1 14 oz. can of tiny whole tomatoes or if not available just whole tomatoes.
Assorted herbs, parsley, basil, oregano and thyme
Salt and pepper
Season chicken with salt, pepper and sprinkled oregano.
Heat a heavy cast iron skillet, drizzled with olive oil.
Place chicken skin side down and do not move it until it reaches a deep golden brown and it’s easy to turn, brown other side for a few minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
Add vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, a few twigs of thyme, saute for 5 minutes.
Add wine and let it reduce.
Add chicken broth and tomatoes.
Toss in 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and chopped fresh basil.
Place the chicken back into the pan and sink into the juices.
Simmer on low, stove top, for a couple of hours or until chicken falls off the bone. Uncovered.
Garnish with fresh parsley.
Serve with cooked pasta, polenta or warm crusty bread.
* You can also use a package of leg quarters or a package of chicken thighs either bone-in or boneless. I like the boneless version best because I don’t have to worry about digging bones out later.
** I have another recipe for chicken paprikas that calls for fresh roma tomatoes. I’ve substituted the canned crushed tomatoes for an equivalent of fresh cut up roma tomatoes.