Camera Update: I got my new camera in mail yesterday! I’m over the moon. I’ll be returning to the regular posting scheduling shortly, now what I can shoot!
Now... on to this delicious dish!
I’ve been on a re-working streak: revisiting old favorites from the blog and taking new pictures (like this Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry, or this Lemony Garden Vegetable & Chicken Soup). It takes some of the mind-work out of the equation, leaving me to only do the creative pieces: photography, a bit of writing, quite a lot of eating.
This one-pan chicken cacciatore is one of those revisited recipes. I originally made this recipe when I was in the middle of finals for grad school. It feels like a lifetime ago. At the time, exams, essays, and textbooks took up such a large part of my life it was hard to believe it could be any other way. In retrospect that was a short lived moment in my journey, one that I even forget about most of the time. All the better, as my experience with grad school was unremarkable.
When I first published this recipe I had said, "I need meals that are simple, quick, and take a minimal amount of brain work.” But I was also looking for ways to express myself creatively, something multiple choice tests didn’t allow. It's that creative need that comes through in this recipe, inspired by a single night out at Pasta Jay’s on Pearl Street.
I remember—not the exact dish I had eaten at Pasta Jay’s- but the thoughts that ran through my head when I ate the leftovers out of a cardboard to-go box the next day. The dish awed me, to be honest. I had never had anything but pasta-laden dishes from Italian restaurants before (to be expected), but this dish had no pasta, and was the best thing I’d eaten that month.
I ate that meal in 2011 and originally wrote up this recipe in 2015. It’s now been 7 years, and that first introduction to cacciatore stays with me.
Making cacciatore is a bit of a production: if you really want to impress people, you’ll need to get fresh basil, and there are a few things you’ll need to chop. Oh, but it’s worth it. Since I’m usually making this on a weeknight, after running errands or getting a workout in, I try to chop everything ahead of time (in the morning, or the night before). I’ll even measure out the spices and put them in a bowl, so that when evening rolls around I don’t even have to think. Just put things in the pot (I use a blue Le Creuset Braiser for meals like this (affiliate link!)) and remember to stir occasionally!
Serves: 4 | Total Time: 60 minutes
- 1 pound bone-in chicken thighs (boneless and skinless is fine too, just reduce cooking time - cook thighs until internal temperature reaches 185°F)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers, sliced in strips (choose a variety of colors: yellow, red, or green)
- 1/4 cup red wine, such a Pinot Noir or Sirah
- 2 14.5-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced chiffonade style style, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Optional for serving: grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, red pepper flakes, extra basil leaves
- Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet (I use my 5-qt Le Creuset Braiser (affiliate link!), though a 13 to 15 inch skillet would work as well). Once the oil glistens, place chicken thighs skin-side down in the pan. Sear the chicken for 3 minutes, then flip them over and continue to cook chicken for 5 more minutes.
- After 5 minutes, place the onions, garlic, and peppers in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the wine, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer.
- Pour in the tomatoes, and stir in the artichoke hearts, balsamic vinegar, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Bring back up to simmer, and place lid on pan. Cook, for 20-30 more minutes, until an instant read thermometer reads 185°F when inserted into the center of the thickest thigh.
- Remove from heat, and serve on plates or in bowls. Garnish with grated parmesan, red pepper flakes, and/or extra basil.
- Tip: try serving this over spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash for a grain-free pasta option.