Chicken Cacciatore with Chef Ric Orlando (Recipe)
A bonus recession-proof recipe from Ric Orlando, of New World Home Cooking in Saugerties
Photograph by Jennifer May
Cacciatore, or hunter’s stew, is usually a chicken dish these days, but its roots are in game cookery. The acid in the tomatoes and the wine help tenderize the meat. It’s often served with pasta, but I prefer it with chunks of potato.
What you'll need:
- 4 lb. chicken cut into 10 pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium Spanish onion, diced
- 1 each red and green pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch wide strips
- 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into generous cubes
- 2 cups red wine
- 14 oz. can plum tomatoes, broken up with the back of a spoon
- 1 bay leaf
- Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
- Pinch each of thyme, sage, rosemary
How it's done:
Heat oven to 375 degrees
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy casserole, brown the chicken nicely on all sides, and remove.
Cook the onions until they begin to soften and turn golden around the edges. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the peppers and mushrooms and sauté until shiny.
Put the chicken back in the casserole with any accumulated juices. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes to reduce the wine by about half. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
Put the casserole in the oven and bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked on the bone and the potatoes are fork tender. Before serving, skim any fat that has accumulated on the sauce.
Wine: Break out the Brunello di Montalcino, or even a red Zinfandel.
Something green? Steamed broccoli rabe or kale, or a bitter salad with endive and a sweet vinegar dressing would go well with this.
For more recipes from the Hudson Valley Home Winter 2009 issue, please view our Entertaining feature, "A Chicken in Every Pot."