What’s for dinner tonight?

Chicken Dinners are one of the most go-to dishes in North America. In fact, most women will order chicken dish when they go out to a restaurant. My wife is Queen of ordering chicken dishes, when I need a holiday from cooking in the kitchen.
Below, is our traditional Italian family Dish, Chicken Cacciatore. You can also check out more quick and easy chicken dishes – just CLICK HERE.

Chicken Cacciatore

How about Chicken Cacciatore ! A fine Italian dish. 

Ingredients

  • 4 – 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive oil 
  • 2 medium onions – medium cut
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper – small cut 
  • 3 cloves of fresh minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian herb seasoning (Costco has the prefect one) 
  • 1/4 cup of tomato pasta 
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 jars of tomato sauce ( your choice, but I like to use Paul Neumann Tomato sauce for two reasons. 1. It’s a rich blend of the prefect tomato sauce. 2. All sales go towards their charity) 

OPTIONAL : 
1 cup of red wine ( to me this is an important part to the over all dish. My grandfather (Italian) would add a whole bottle of his favourite red wine throughout the day, making this chicken cacciatore a primo dish.

1 small bunch of chopped parsley 

NOTE:  Notice I left out the flour. My grandfather would have taken the flour and dumped it on my head, if I ever used flour in this dish. You don’t need to flour your chicken thighs either. Let’s go with a virgin supreme healthy- for-you dish. Not sure if this was an Italian thing, but my grandpa would always call his sauces, gravies. 

OK. So now we’re ready to prepare this wonderful tasty dish.

METHOD: (Preparation) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  1. A Dutch oven pot or brazier pan is ideal to use. ( A thick bottom surface and able to place in the oven)
  2. Add olive oil to your Pan. Add chopped onions, green onions and minced garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat. 
  3. Now add raw chicken thighs skin side down ( if you like you can remove the skin, but not necessary. Lightly brown each side of chicken thighs. Add 1 cup of red wine and let reduce.
  4. Remove chicken thighs for now.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/2 jars of Paul Neumann’s tomato sauce. 
  6. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer.
  7. Add the chicken thighs back into the sauce. Bring back to a simmer. 

Place in preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes with closed lid. Bring out and stir. It may require more chicken stock, if too thick. If not place back in oven for another 15 minutes. 
If you have chopped parsley, then go ahead and add to your dish, but not necessary. 

Bon Appetite ! Serve with your favourite pasta, be it spaghetti or fettuccine. 


My Italian Home Story : 

My grandfather use to always make Chicken Cacciatore on Saturday for a luncheon. Needless to say, I understand the nap after a nice meal. It was his Italian tradition every Saturday for lunch. 

 Sunday is strictly for Mass at your neighbouring Catholic Church.  

Anyway, he would get up early in the morning to hand-make the fresh pasta (fettuccine ) using the roller machine, to get it just right. Then, (from 5 years old and up) I would help him dry the pasta on broomsticks.

Yup, you heard right.

He would cut off the bristles of the broom. Sand them down and then sanitize each broomstick. He collected a closet full of these sticks. Flour it lightly and lay broomsticks all over the kitchen, between chairs and counters. Then we would lay the pasta to dry. 

God forbid, if someone ever threw out the brooms – LOL.

Before every luncheon meal, my grandfather would have a side dish of red hot chilli peppers in virgin olive oil.  He would enjoy them along with his meal.  One day, I asked my grandpa,” Why do you eat those peppers Grandpa?” He smiled and then said,” Mamma Mia! Because they are good…would you like to try one?”  

Trying to please my grandfather, I took a tinny little bite.  

Oh boy! Was it hot. I raced around the rooms, from living room back into the kitchen, and once again around. It made my eyes water. My mom came into the kitchen to ask what the commotion was all about. First time I ever saw my mom give grandpa crap for doing such a trick. LOL.  

To me it was all in fun and I learned about those hot chilli peppers. 

In the evening my grandpa thought he was an opera singer. My three uncles, my mom and grandma would seat around drinking the latest homemade Italian wine or aperitif, while my grandpa sang out loud, a bolstering off- key song in Italian.  

Mamma Mia ! Those were the days ! 

I hope you enjoy my Chicken Cacciatore dish and story. Please check out Chef Bari on Facebook and be sure to buy my published cookbook, Canadian Recipes of the Great White North. It would sure help me out. 
Thank you,

Chef Bari 

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