Chicken cacciatore is a dish that can be prepared for a large crowd or easily scaled back for an easy dinner for two, and like many tomato-based dishes, it tastes even better the second — or even the third day. Traditional cacciatore features peppers and onions but you can add any other veggies you like as long as they don’t turn to mush in the sauce. Diced carrots or zucchini would work; yellow squash, not so much. — L. Weal
6 pieces bone-in chicken (legs and thighs)
ground black pepper
flour, for dredging
1/4 cup canola oil
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 medium onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
red pepper flakes [optional]
large (12-inch) sauté pan (deep skillet), with lid
platter, or large plate
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
2. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned — about 5 minutes per side — then transfer to platter.
3. Add bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms to pan, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits, until vegetables are tender — about 5 minutes.
4. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Return chicken to pan and coat with sauce. Season with red pepper flakes, if using.
6. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover pan. Simmer 45 minutes.
NOTES & TIPS
• One 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes yields about 2 cups diced tomatoes.
• No dried Italian seasoning? Substitute with 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano and 1/2 tablespoon dried basil.
• When browning or frying foods, avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook them in batches, if necessary, or the food will steam instead of fry.
• Serve over hot pasta or rice.