Chicken Cacciatore by Chef Karen Akunowicz

Chicken Cacciatore by Chef Karen Akunowicz
An easy chicken dinner with layers of flavor.
Chicken Cacciatore
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
  • 4 chicken legs
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground place pepper
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • ⅓ cup of diced prosciutto or bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled san Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over high heat and add the canola oil.
  2. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate and season them with salt and pepper. Turn the pieces over and season on the other side.
  3. When the oil is shimmering, reduce the heat to medium. Use a pair of metal tongs to carefully add the chicken, skin side down, to the skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  4. Sear the pieces, resisting the temptation to move or turn the pieces until they have browned on the first side, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and brown on that side, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.
  5. To make the sauce, add the bacon and garlic to the to the Dutch oven and cook over medium low for 2 minutes. Next add the red wine and reduce by half.
  6. Add the onion, carrots and celery and a pinch of salt to the skillet you browned the chicken in, and cook until the onions become translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and the red pepper flakes and add the crushed san Marzano tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes start to get jammy, 5 to 8 minutes (cooking the wine out first is important so that there won’t be any raw alcohol flavor in the sauce). Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  8. Place the chicken pieces in a single layer back into the Dutch oven, cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up some of the tomatoes.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rosemary. Allow the chicken to rest on the stove, off the heat, for about 10 minutes and then remove and discard the rosemary sprig, thyme sprig, and bay leaves. Taste for seasoning and serve.

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