A chicken cacciatore with flavors of Italy and some more unusual spices. Red pepper flakes are used in place of black pepper to make the dark meat even more rich. This delicious recipe comes from Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food. —jack112
whole skin-on chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated
red pepper flakes
large white onions (about 1 3/4 pounds total), halved and thinly sliced
2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
dried bay leaves
dry white wine
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
In This Recipe
Heat a large medium skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet and season the pieces with salt and half of the red pepper flakes. Turn the pieces on their other side and season with more salt and the remaining red pepper flakes.
When the oil begins to smoke lightly, carefully add the pieces to the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Resist the temptation to move or turn the chicken and allow the pieces to brown on their first side, 5-8 minutes. Use tongs to flip the pieces over and brown, 3-5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken pieces to a large plate or baking sheet.
In the same skillet, strain off the oil, and wipe out any burnt bits. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, add the cumin and stir rapidly to give the seeds a quick roast, 5 seconds. Add the onions. Season with salt and cook, stirring frequently, until they turn light brown, 5-8 minutes.
Stir in the ginger and garlic and add the cinnamon and bay leaves. Pour in the white wine and gently boil until reduced by half to allow the raw taste of the alchohol to cook out before adding any other ingredients, 8-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer to allow the flavors to come together, 10 minutes.
Add about 1 cup water to the skillet and arrange the chicken pieces in the sauce. Use a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes. Keep the heat low and simmer until the pieces are cooked through and the meat can be pulled off with a fork, 30-45 minutes. Stir butter into the sauce. Discard cinnamon and bay leaves before serving.