This is a rustic family favorite sure to please
Cacciatore means "hunter style" which gives you a good idea of the simple robust nature of this dish. Allow several hours total for this recipe. You can make it in advance, reheat and serve over pasta when you're ready.
1 medium [3-5 lb.] chicken cut up
1 [28 oz]can crushed tomatoes
2 red or green peppers
3 ribs celery
1 large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
8-12 oz. sliced mushrooms
1.5 tsp. dried oregano
5 leaves fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
pinch of thyme
salt & pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup good dry red wine
1 pound spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine
Heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Slowly brown the chicken parts in the skillet until nicely browned on all sides. As the pieces are browned, remove to a large ovenproof baking dish.*
While the chicken is browning give the onion, celery, peeled carrots, and peppers a rough chop. Peel and chop the garlic.
When all the chicken has been transferred to the baking dish, lightly brown the chopped vegetables in the skillet and oil that the chicken was browned in. [ add extra oil if needed].
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the baking dish, spreading over the chicken parts.
In the same skillet, brown the mushrooms. While the mushrooms are browning salt and pepper them using 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. When the mushrooms are slightly softened, add the wine, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Transfer the mushrooms to the baking dish along with the liquid from the pan.
In a bowl combine the tomatoes with the herbs and spices and 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1/2 can of water. Pour liquid over the chicken and vegetables. Cover with foil.
Bake in 400* oven for 2 hours.
Remove the chicken to a serving platter and use the sauce over the cooked pasta.
Be sure to serve grated Italian cheese on the side.
* I use a disposable aluminum deep pan with a baking sheet underneath for support.