Chicken Cacciatore, which translates to hunter’s chicken, originated in Italy. In Italian cuisine, alla cacciatore refers to a meal prepared hunter style, with onions, herbs, garlic, tomatoes and sometimes bell peppers and wine.
To me, the fact that this is a tomato based dish is enough for me to want to eat it (I adore tomato sauce) and of course, braising chicken is my favourite way of cooking chicken. The meat stays moist and the sauce infuses the meat with bright and vibrant flavours.
There are many variations of this dish, depending on the ingredients available in specific regions or countries. Needless to say, it is a very popular dish in many European countries, with some variations. Chicken cacciatore in Italy does not usually have mushrooms, while in France it is often prepared with them.
I use mushrooms in my chicken cacciatore. Did you know that mushrooms have flavour enhancing properties? Mushrooms enhance the flavour of meat and sauce based dishes. Not only are mushrooms a great source of protein and vitamins, but they also contain antioxidants that are unique to them. So now you have more reasons to cook with mushrooms and add them to your dishes.
- 1 chicken (cut into 8 pieces)
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 12 white mushrooms (about 8 oz)
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup of chicken broth
- 1 (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 3 tbsp of freshly chopped basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 branch of fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the chicken into 8 pieces (you can ask your butcher to do this, or you can buy chicken legs and breasts with skin on and bones in).
- In a plate, mix the flour with 1 tbsp of sweet paprika, salt and pepper.
- Flour each piece of chicken on both sides.
- In a heavy bottom skillet, heat up 3 tbsp of olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of your pan).
- Brown the chicken on both sides (about 5 minutes on each side) and reserve on a plate.
- In the same pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in the white wine and let reduce by half.
- Add in the chicken broth, tomatoes, basil, bay leaf, sugar, rosemary, parsley; then salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the chicken to the pan and cover (if your pan is not big enough like mine, transfer to an oven safe dish and cover with aluminium foil).
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for 60 minutes.
- Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.