Chicken breasts and thighs have always been a staple in my household, but lately I've been doing some serious wallet-watching, and I've discovered that the best bang for your buck lies with the purchase of whole chickens.
So today, I'll pick up a couple chickens to make a classic poultry dish, chicken cacciatore, which uses every piece of the bird. Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian, and protein prepared in this style is simmered in a sauce of mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and herbs until succulent. Dying to try out the flavors for yourself? Then read more.
- 1-1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (scant 4 cups)
8 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 very large red onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, excess fat trimmed
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup thinly sliced basil, divided
2 tablespoons drained capers, divided
12 ounces gemelli or penne, freshly cooked
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine plum tomatoes, mushrooms, and onion in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and vinegar; toss to blend. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread vegetable mixture in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until onion slices are golden brown and all vegetables are tender, stirring frequently, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to bowl.
- Add wine to skillet and boil until wine is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 1 minute. Stir in canned tomatoes with juice, then broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Return chicken to sauce in skillet. Place skillet in oven and roast uncovered until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with knife, about 25 minutes. Remove skillet from oven.
- Stir in roasted vegetables, remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, half of basil, and half of capers. Simmer over medium heat until vegetables are heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place pasta in large shallow bowl. Top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle remaining basil and capers over.
- Poultry, Main Dishes