If you are into eating clean and also love Italian food, then this recipe for Chicken Cacciatore is a must-make! This is “family style” rustic food, the kind of dish you can vividly imagine a big Italian family informally digging right into, talking over one another and happily eating away. As with most classic Italian dishes, there must be a hundred variations on chicken cacciatore. My version includes lots of vegetables.
Recipe for Chicken Cacciatore Sneaks in Superfood Ingredient
And, although they might sound more like an ingredient you would use in a Japanese recipe rather than an Italian one, I also use healing superfood shitake mushrooms instead of the cultivated white button mushrooms used in a more conventional chicken cacciatore recipe. Surprisingly, the shitake mushrooms don’t taste at all “Japanese-like” and instead just contribute a subtle earthy flavor and meaty texture to the dish. For what it is worth, I have really started to try and replace button mushrooms with shitake mushrooms in most of my recipes after learning cultivated mushrooms actually contain natural carcinogens. This doesn’t mean I won’t eat cultivated button mushrooms anymore, it just means that if it is easy enough to swap one mushroom for another and I don’t sacrifice flavor in doing so then that’s what I do.
For a complete meal, I like to serve the chicken cacciatore with a side of roasted spaghetti squash and a great big green salad. Oh, and leftovers make a great sandwich with steamed garlicky spinach nestled between slices of sprouted whole grain bread. Yum!Print
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless (organic, pastured skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces and trimmed of all visible fat)
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Paprika (to taste)
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (for dredging)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large red bell peppers (chopped)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms (stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with juice
- 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
- 3/4 cup organic free-range chicken broth (such as Pacific Natural Foods)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Crushed red pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Liberally sprinkle the chicken with paprika. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly. In a large heavy sauté pan (preferably cast-iron), heat 2 tablespoons oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté until just brown, about 5 minutes per side (note: if all the chicken does not fit in the pan, sauté it in two batches.) Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same “dirty” pan used to cook the chicken. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic; sauté over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes, broth, garlic powder, crushed red peppers, and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes.. Sprinkle chicken with parsley and serve.
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