Cacciatore is an Italian recipe made from braised chicken with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and herbs of your choice. There are a number of variations of this dish, based upon the ingredients used, but this is one of the simplest Cacciatore recipes, in which fried chicken is mixed with onion and tomato sauce, and baked for around 30 to 40 minutes.
Onion (quartered) - 1 small
Garlic - 2 large cloves
Red bell pepper - ½
Diced tomatoes - One 14-ounce can
Chicken stock or low-sodium broth - 1 cup
Skin-on chicken drumsticks - 5 (1¼ pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper - To taste
All-purpose flour - for dusting
Unsalted butter - 2 tablespoons
Extra-virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Bay leaf - 1
Rosemary sprig - 1
Buttered noodles or crusty bread, for serving - As required
Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, prepare the casserole or glass oven dish by lightly spraying it with vegetable shortening and set aside.
Put the quartered onion and garlic cloves into the bowl of the food processor.
Then, add half a red bell pepper and a can of diced tomatoes to the food processor pour one cup of chicken stock or low sodium broth into the bowl, and process to make a smooth puree - this should take about 1 to 2 minutes.
Thoroughly wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place the chicken in a flat dish and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Dust the chicken pieces with all purpose flour and set aside.
Take a large, deep oven-proof skillet and put two tablespoons of unsalted butter and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into it.
Melt the butter over medium heat on the stove, and then add the seasoned and dusted chicken to the skillet.
Cook the chicken over moderately high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until well browned on all sides; make sure you turn the chicken pieces a few times.
Remove the chicken from the skillet using a slotted spoon and place it in a plate lined with a paper towel.
Add the onion and tomato puree to the same skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper according to taste.
Add a rosemary sprig and a bay leaf, and cook for a couple of minutes to evaporate the extra liquid, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden or plastic spatula.
Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce, skin side up.
Put a generous dab of thick sauce on each chicken piece, and roast uncovered in the oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the gravy is reduced by half.
Your chicken Cacciatore is ready. Discard the rosemary sprig and bay leaf, and serve with crusty bread or buttered noodles.