Amazingly tender falling off the bone chicken, slow cooked in wine and tomatoes. It’s the ultimate Italian comfort food!
Our friends recently moved to a new home, a farm. Yes a whole farm! So, I thought it would be nice to bring them a meal (no one in their right mind would cook while moving, right?).
I wanted to bring some comfort food, something rustic, flavorful, soul warming, finger licking – no knife needed, better the next day, kid friendly meal! Chicken Cacciatore.
Cacciatore means “Hunter” in Italian. Alla Cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter style”. If that is not appropriate for a farm, I don’t know what is!
For this rustic stew, you want to use bone-in chicken. White or dark meat, or a combination. You can use skinless if you prefer. For some reason, I like the skin on drum sticks but always remove the skin off chicken thighs (hey I’m particular, don’t judge!)
If you have picky eaters that only like boneless and skinless chicken (the hubs comes to mind), don’t worry! By the time this stew is ready to be served, it will all fall off the bones anyway!
My recipe calls for dredging the chicken in flour which gives the chicken a nice crust and the stew a thicker consistency. BUT if you want to make this gluten free, you can omit this step. It will still be amazing!!! (If I feel particularly lazy, I skip this step as well).
Then, in goes the anchovies (trust me it won’t taste fishy!) and the aromatics – garlic, onions, carrots, red bell peppers – all caramelize and get happy in the pot. Next, the wine goes in (a nice chianti is a good option), herbs, tomatoes, olives and capers, then the magic happens! You slow cook it until all the flavors melt together to Italian perfection!
Why is this recipe of chicken Cacciatore the perfect dish for entertainment? Why is this stew perfect for potlucks or as a “thinking of you” meal drop off? Because it really tastes better the next day! Make it, cool it, refrigerate it (if you can resist the urge to devour it, of course!). The next day heat it up and be ready to be wowed!
Serve it with crusty Italian bread or over pasta (perfect for the kiddos) or make some cauliflower rice to keep the meal on the lighter side.
- No anchovies? No problem! Even though I recommend using them; the stew will still be tasty without them.
- You can use any type of red wine for this recipe but I recommend using a good quality wine (something you would drink – you will have leftovers anyway – so cheers!) Merlot, chianti, pinot, you pick!
- Reduction -is the process of simmering a liquid to concentrate its flavor, aroma and color. By reducing the wine, you get rid of that sharp alcohol smell and taste. You are actually removing the alcohol in the wine and just intensifying the flavors.