One of my favorite meals is chicken cacciatore, its both delicious but also a tasteful reminder of one of my late father’s favorite meals. He made his “old school” on the stove but unfortunately I don’t have the time nor culinary talent he had, so mine is a crock pot variation and just today I took a big step forward in making this my best so far.
Now forgive me that I don’t really measure anything (neither did my old man), but feel free to interpret this recipe as you see fit and to meet your tastes.
I start with a large can of stewed tomatoes (about 32 ounces), I actually get them from my in-laws but feel free to try any from a better store, that goes in the crock pot first. Now I don’t like a real thick sauce but I like it light with some sweetness, so I add a medium can of pizza sauce and a small can of tomato sauce. But I do add a little gumbo file` to make it a tad thicker, I used to add a small can on tomato paste but I didn’t like the consistency of it, a lighter sauce is just my personal preference.
From there add herbs and seasonings, I grew basil this summer, so add some dried basil, then oregano, cilantro, garlic powder, parsley and any other herb you like. Don’t forget to add one bay leaf, amazing flavor from those, just make sure to stick it deep in the sauce.
As a change this time I chopped up about a 1/2 a cup of a green pepper and about 1/4 cup of onion, dice them up good and in they go.
I also added wine, my favorite white cooking wine is riesling, Bonny Doon Pacific Rim dry riesling to be specific, add a few good splashes. And by the way, never use a wine for cooking that you wouldn’t drink, that Bonny Doon is a great table wine too.
For the chicken I used to use frozen chicken breasts but from my BBQ I’ve become a big fan of boneless thighs, you can buy them deboned at just about every store from a local Centrella to Aldi. I kid you not, I bought these Tyson brand boneless thighs from Aldi, a whole pack of six for less than five bucks, less than a buck a thigh. Or you can buy thighs and debone them yourself, a little labor intensive but I’m stressed for time, so I let the butcher do the work.
Anyway, I add the chicken last, dunk them in the sauce and make sure they are covered in sauce so they cook well and get all the flavor.
That’s it, cover it and put the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, I’m usually gone longer than 10 so then they spend another hour on warm, I have one of those slow cookers that goes automatically to warm after its cook time.
And even though when its done it may look like its burning with dark sauce on top, just stir it up and you are all good, now make some penne or your favorite pasta or rice and serve.
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Filed under: Food