As the weekend approaches everyone knows I always ask my family what they would like me to make or bake. Whenever I ask Kent (for those who don’t know that is my hubby) he rarely has a suggestion. He actually requested Chicken Cacciatore this weekend. I was shocked. I checked to see what recipes were out there. As always America’s Test Kitchen got my vote. Believe it or not I have never used wine in a recipe. I always replace it with broth. I know, you are thinking how crazy that is. Especially how much I love to cook. Well, I am not a fan of wine and just never bothered to use it. I mentioned to Kent I wanted to avoid the wine. He said to make it per the recipe or find another one. Since he rarely has any opinion about what I throw on the table I decided to make this recipe exactly as written. That included the red wine. I checked out on their website on what type of wine I should use. They recommend using a red wine made with berries. I Found Red Rock Winery Merlot in our basement stock. This wine has a blend of raspberries and blackberries. Let’s begin;
8 bone in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 ounces Portobello mushrooms, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) dices tomatoes, drained (oops, I just realized I didn’t drain)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (all I had was dried thyme. I used 1 teaspoon.)
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind (2 inches, about 1 ounce), this is optional (I weighed 1 oz piece of Parmesan rind)
2 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves (their was the option to use rosemary. I used rosemary instead. I LOVE rosemary!)
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add four chicken thighs, skin side down and cook, not moving them until skin is crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken and brown on second side, 5 minutes longer. Transfer browned chicken to large plate. Brown remaining thighs. (It is best to do them in 2 batches. They will not brown if you crowd all 8 in one pan.) Set the chicken aside.
2. Drain off all but 1 Tablespoon of fat from the pot. Add onion, mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt; saute over medium high heat, stirring until browned. About 6-8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, remove and discard skin from browned chicken thighs.
4. Add garlic to pot and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly until combined with veggies.
6. Add wine, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen brown bits. Stir in broth, tomatoes, thyme, cheese rind (if using), 1/2 teaspoon salt (Omit salt if using cheese rind), and pepper to taste.
7. Submerge chicken pieces in liquid and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes. Turn chicken pieces with tongs halfway through cooking.
8. Discard cheese rind, stir in sage (or rosemary), adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve!
We served over pasta. You could use rice, noodles or even mashed potatoes. Whatever you desire. It really was simple and delicious. I look forward to making this dish again!