Friday, March 25, 2016

Chicken Cacciatore

Let’s talk chicken! After I made Joyce’s Baked Sour Cream Chicken two days ago, Ron had a hankering for Chicken Cacciatore. Once again, I used chicken thighs, making this a relatively inexpensive dish. As experienced cooks know, a little sugar cuts the acidity of tomato-based dishes. Be sure you don’t forget it!

Chicken Cacciatore:

1-to-2 tbsp. (15-to-30 mL) canola oil
8-to-10 large chicken thighs, skinned and bone-in (about 3 lb. or 1.4 kg)
One 28 fl. oz. (796 mL) can diced tomatoes, undrained (see Note)
One 13-oz. (384 mL) can tomato paste (see Further Note)
1 green pepper, diced large
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced large
2 tsp. (10 mL) dried basil
2 tsp. (10 mL) dried oregano
4-to-6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. (10 mL) granulated sugar
Two 10-oz. (284 mL each) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 c. (60 mL) fresh chopped parsley, stems removed
Parmesan cheese, as garnish
Additional chopped parsley, as garnish

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. In a Dutch oven or other heavy, lidded casserole, bring oil to sizzling over medium-high heat (see Dutch Oven Note). 

My trusty Dutch oven!

Sear 3 or 4 pieces of chicken at a time; do not cook through. 

Ready to brown in sizzling oil; turn with tongs.

Remove from Dutch oven; drain fat. Return chicken to Dutch oven. Add all remaining ingredients except Parmesan cheese and parsley to be used as garnish.

Add all remaining ingredients...

Add parsley; reserve some for later garnish.

Ready to be covered and baked.

Bake, covered, 90 min. Serve over spaghetti cooked according to package directions. Serves 6. This dish is even better the next day. Cooked leftovers freeze well.

Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Enjoy!

Note: Metric equivalents are sometimes loose approximations in canned goods, depending upon where you live. Under the US Imperial system, this equivalency is 828 mL; in fully metric countries, it is 796 mL. While the lower number is a “cheat,” a lost fl. oz. here and there won’t make any difference to most recipes. 

Further Note: In the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live, tomato paste used to come in 8-oz. cans that later dropped to 6 oz. and now to 5.5 oz. (The metric equivalencies shown on the cans arent quite true, and some countries sell tomato paste in tubes, but the general trend is smaller size, higher price). It’s pointless to shake a fist in the air, because down-sized packaging and up-sized pricing is common practice. Fortunately, not a lot of recipes call for tomato paste.

I used a large can of tomato paste in this recipe; whether you use two or even three smaller cans won’t make much difference. While precise measurements are important in baking, recipes such as this one still work well with a few loosey-goosey measurements. If you’re unsure, check the Index for How to Measure Ingredients Accurately.

Dutch Oven Note: As a valuable addition to your kitchen repertoire, a Dutch oven is a heavy, lidded casserole, often made in cast-iron. Mine is large - about 12 c. (2.8 L).  For a fascinating look at the history of Dutch ovens, read:


  1. I"m making this tonight! Thank you, I love your recipes.

    1. How very sweet of you to write! This is a great recipe - and an easy one. xox Nicole


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