I couldn't take it anymore. With the weather so warm here for the last couple of weeks, we've been eating salads and quick-grilled meats....tuna and a lot of sandwiches. But I wanted something cooked...something comforting. The other night we caught a few minutes of Bobby Flay doing a throw-down for chicken cacciatore. I knew that's what I wanted... Tom agreed. And so it went. —inpatskitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
We chose this recipe as our inaugural Winner Winner Chicken Dinner feature, to get fall off to a cozy start. You'll dredge and brown chicken thighs in seasoned flour, stir together a tomatoey stew in the same pot, then add the chicken back to finish braising. Get some pasta or polenta (or farro, or potatoes, or whatever speaks to you) ready the same time, and dinner -- good, chicken, dinner -- is done.
Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about 1/4 inch, and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.
Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.
Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.
Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.
Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
After the 30 to 40 minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy!
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!