Judy’s Chicken Cacciatore

I’ve made lots of versions of this, and I’ve never really used a recipe.  I made it this week for my daughter Randi and her baby, my amazing grandson, Noah.  They both really enjoyed so here it is.  The one thing I do differently is that I take all the chicken off the bone after it’s cooked and then I cut it up and put it back in the sauce.  It turns out to be more like a chicken stew.  Of course, you may keep it on the bone if you like.

  • 4 pounds of chicken pieces, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper (I use only breasts – that’s about 5 – 6 breast pieces)
  • 1 28 oz can of good quality crushed tomatoes (or whole peeled tomatoes in thick puree) Best brand of crushed tomatoes is Cento- the tomato product is amazing!
  • 8-12 oz. sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella this time)
  • 2 large red peppers, sliced
  • about 4 carrots, peeled and sliced in large chunks (optional- if you like to add more veggies, this works well)
  • about 10 oz. chicken broth or stock- buy organic or msg free
  • 4-6 tablespoons of dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme (use fresh herbs if you have them), crushed red pepper flakes to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon (optional- if you like the heat- I can’t use it for the baby)

In a large deep frying pan, pour 1 tablespoon oil,  heat up, and then place seasoned breasts face down, brown, turn and cook another few minutes.  Take out and place on large plate.  Add a little more oil, and saute onions till just starting to brown- towards the end of cooking the onions, throw the garlic in and saute just till transluscent, take out.  Do same for sliced mushrooms, when browned, put on plate with onions.  Then saute peppers, till just soft, take out.

Now you are ready to put it all together.  If this pan is large enough, and has a cover you can cook it all in pan.  Otherwise, in a pot, put the chicken in, all the cooked vegetables, the can of crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes with juice, the cut up carrots- if using, the chicken broth, the wine if using, oregano, any additional salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer covered over lowest flame for about 45-55 minutes. If you are serving right away, either cook rice or egg noodles, and then serve over.

I do something different at this point.  I  let the pot sit there at least 1 hour, covered, until the chicken has cooled down.  Then I take the chicken out.  I lift the entire breast off the bone, and then I cut the chicken into nice big chunks. I do this because my children never really learned to eat chicken on the bone.   I put the chicken back into the sauce.  Then I turn the flame on, put the cover back on, and I simmer over lowest flame for another 30 minutes to get the juice into the meat.  Then I either serve it, or let it cool and put it into quart containers for serving later in the week or for freezing.

Note:  I go to the butcher shop at my Foodtown, and I buy the chicken that has no antibiotics.  The chicken is more expensive, but it tastes so much better!

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