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So you need something to give it to! Luckily it’s National Chicken Cacciatore Day, so let’s talk about that. Cacciatore sounds a little lame because traditionally it’s chicken, and it’s Italian, and if you’re going to eat Italian food, let’s be real, there’s pasta. But cacciatore is actually a delicious preparation for chicken because the meat is braised with all these flavors and you can throw in wine and basically whatever you want.
Here are a few recipes to try — from basic to high brow. And here’s what you’ll notice they all have in common:
1. Cut up pieces of bone-in chicken are seared in hot oil, then removed from the pan.
2. Then you’ll dump into that same pan some combination of aromatics — onion, garlic, maybe even some bacon, and let that cook a bit.
3. Then you add liquid for flavor — usually red wine — scrape the brown stuff off the bottom of the pan and let it all simmer.
4. Then come in the tomatoes. Simmer to thicken.
5. Add the chicken back in and put it in the oven
6. Simmer gently.
7. Top with basil.
And let’s not forget this is still Italian food, so you can serve it with pasta on the side.
This recipe from Italianfoodforever.com is pretty basic. It calls for white wine instead of red wine and you could probably skip the celery and the mushrooms if you need to.
6. Super Basic: BBC’s Chicken Cacciatore
This recipe from BBC’s Good Food looks clear and easy. Not a lot of frills, except the pancetta, which ensures it will win.
7. A Step Up: Food52’s Hunter’s-Style Chicken
This guy calls for red vermouth and dried porcini mushrooms, which will give you some nice depth of flavor and a little something outside the basic. Get the recipe at food52.