For many years, I’ve made Italian-style chicken cacciatore and was always happy with the results. However, I recently came across a recipe that was much better than any chicken cacciatore I’ve made before. It’s a recipe from Chris Bianco, James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of the much-lauded Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. His cookbook titled simply Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like contains his terrific recipe for chicken cacciatore and I’m happy to share it with you here.
- 1 free-range chicken (about 3 lbs.)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white or yellow onion, quartered
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
- 1 ½ cups white wine
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- A pinch of dried oregano, preferably wild
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut your chicken into 8 pieces: 2 breast halves, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 drumsticks. (You can save the neck and backbone for making stock.)
- Set a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, in batches, and sear the pieces until golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes,m stirring occasionally, to get the veggies coated in the drippings and charred bits.
- Return the chicken to the pot and give it a gentle stir to help marry everything, then add the wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and let it bubble for about 5 minutes.
- When the wine is reduced by about half, add the tomatoes, with their juices, and use a wooden spoon to gently crush the tomatoes and bring everything together. Season with the red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and pop it into the oven for 1 hour. Then uncover, increase the oven temperature to 400 F. and bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the meat slips easily off the bone. Serve hot.
Serving suggestion: Serve the chicken with pasta, potatoes, or rice.
Sip o’ the Week
FOR MORE RESTAURANT REVIEWS GO HERE.
THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
Subscribe to get the latest Utah Bites news and reviews
Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.