Preamble by Steve Siciliano
Now that the nights are getting nippy and the leaves are starting to turn, Barb and I are transitioning from light summertime fare to hearty comfort food. One of our favorite cool weather dishes is a quick and simple chicken cacciatore.
Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian and in Italy this hunter’s stew is often prepared with wild rabbit. We have scads of the cute critters hopping around our backyard; I’m sure I could easily bag one with a Wham-O slingshot. But I was never much of a hunter and I’m also sure Barb would have to be starving before she put a morsel of bunny rabbit in her mouth.
We prefer using bone-in chicken thighs in our version of this traditional, Old World dish. After lightly browning the thighs in a medium sized stockpot with olive oil, a big onion and a head of garlic, we add a 32 oz. box of Swanson chicken broth and a couple of 28 oz. cans of San Marzano tomatoes. Put a lid on the pot, simmer on low heat for about an hour and then add the vegetables in twenty-minute increments, chunks of potato first, followed by carrots, mushrooms and green peppers. Season with salt, red pepper flakes and a healthy dose of oregano.
Mop up the juice with a loaf of crusty Italian bread. A bottle of a good Chianti or Sangiovese from Siciliano's is a perfect accompaniment to this hearty, rustic meal.
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