Chicken cacciatore, rustic Italian cucina povera (peasant food)

Chicken cacciatore is a rustic Italian dish that loosely translates to hunter and originated in the Tuscany region of Italy, it is a peasant dish, la cucina povera, that was made with what is caught, foraged and grown. Chicken is the preferred fowl these days, it is braised in a rich tomato sauce with peppers, mushrooms, garlic and shallot/onions. Delicious and filling served with bread, pasta or polenta anyway you decide to serve, its so good! Here’s how to make it:

Chicken cacciatore with gnocchi

Chicken Cacciatore

serves 4-6 depending on serving size

1 whole chicken cut- breast, thighs, legs, wings

flour for dredging approximately 1/2 c

1 large bell pepper sliced with seeds removed

2 shallot chopped or 1 medium onion chopped

2 cloves garlic smashed

8 oz mushrooms sliced (button, cremini or whatever you like)

two 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

1/4 c red wine

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil for sautéing

generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Dutch oven or braiser with lid

Lightly salt chicken, season flour with salt and pepper, dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess . Heat oil in pan and brown the chicken on both sides, remove from pan and set aside. Add the shallot or onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and lightly saute just until softened, deglaze the pan with the wine, add the tomatoes and season to taste. Nestle chicken in the sauce, cover and bake in a pre heated 350 degree oven for approximately 90 minutes. The chicken is fall off the bone tender and the sauce is rich and delicious. Note: It tastes even better the next day.

chicken cacciatore with gnocchi

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