You could also use either a whole cut-up chicken or a combination of drumsticks and thighs here. If you have leftovers, strip the chicken meat from the bones and add it back to the sauce. It makes a nice pasta dressing, with the addition of a little pasta-cooking water, a drizzle of olive oil, and some grated Grana Padano. I like Chicken Cacciatore served with polenta, as it is traditionally eaten by game hunters. I recall that, when my grandfather brought home a pheasant, hare, or boar, Grandma would always prepare a big pot of polenta to go with it.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, thickly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thickly sliced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- One 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian oregano on the branch
- Peperoncino flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
Season the thicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the chicken on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes, and remove it to a plate. Add the onion and pepper, and cook until they begin to wilt, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt.
Add the wine, and simmer until it’s reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. Return the chicken to the pot. Add the oregano, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of peperoncino. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout the cooking process. Stir in the parsley, and serve.