My Blue Kitchen
Monday, January 08, 2007
  Pollo alla Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore (Pollo alla Cacciatore)
adapted from "Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen"

1 chicken cut up about 4 1/2 pounds (preferably free-range)
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion cut into strips
1/2 cup red wine
One 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes with liquid, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably the Sicilian or Greek type) dried on the branch, crumbled
2 cups sliced white or shiitake mushrooms, about 8 ounces
1 red and 2 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into strips

Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces in flour, coating them lightly and tapping off excess flour. In a wide (at least 12-inch) 5-quart braising pan, heat the vegetable oil with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until a piece of chicken dipped in the oil gives off a very lively sizzle. Add as many pieces of chicken to the pan as will fit without touching. Do not crowd chicken; if the skillet is not wide enough to fit all of the chicken, brown it in batches. Remove chicken pieces from the skillet as they brown, adding some of the remaining pieces of chicken to take their place. Remove all chicken from the skillet. Add the onion to the fat remaining in the pan, and cook, stirring 5 minutes.

Pour the wine into the pan, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and oregano, season lightly with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Tuck the chicken into the sauce, adjust the heat to a gentle boil, and cover the pan. Cook, stirring a few times, 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and peppers, and toss until the peppers are wilted but still quite crunchy, about 8 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt.

Stir the peppers and mushrooms into the chicken pan. Cook covered until the chicken and vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Check the level of the liquid as the chicken cooks. There should be enough liquid barely to cover the chicken. If necessary, add small amounts of water to maintain the level of liquid as the chicken cooks. Makes 6 servings.
wow your setup is so romantic! I've heard a lot of great things about Lidia's Italian American Kitchen -- this just makes me want to buy a copy of it even more. :)
how romantic! that looks lovely and the recipe seems pretty simple.
But how did it come out? Any comments on the recipe?
yes, Pete has a good point. I forgot to review the recipe.
It was excellent!! A bit labor intensive for a weeknight meal with browning the chicken and all but well worth the effort. Plus once that part is over and the chopping there isn't much to do 'cept let is simmer. The end result was incredible moist and flavorful chicken.

The original recipe called for white wine but I used red because that is what we drink and it was really good.

It was also suggested to serve this over polenta and I think that would have been better as the pasta really doesn't soak up the sauce. I forgot to buy it.

All in all this was a winner and a definate make again. It made a ton so we will be eating this again tonight!
for those of us on weight watchers, can you please post the "Points Values" for future recipes? thanks, yumyummum : )
But of course, LoLo.
If you wanted to make this less "pointy" (or core) or healthy....I would take the skin off and bake it in the oven instead of browning. I remember my Mom making this dish that way sometimes. I would still brown the onions in a skillet then reduce the wine etc just adding it to the pan in the oven. It would save the big step of browning and make it a more realistic everyday meal. But then it does take away a lot of flavor. Cutting back on the 1/2 cup of oil would of coarse be a fine idea to cut calories. I actually found that I didn't need that much.

I was planning to try it this way next time so I shall report back when I do.
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