The first time that I tasted Chicken Cacciatore it was prepared by an ornery Sicilian woman that really didn't like me very much . . . but the meal was fabulous. That was 60 years ago! Since then I have discovered many, many, different ways to make Cacciatore and the recipe that follow is one of my own favorites!!!
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Step 1: The Ingredients:
Obviously, Chicken. You can use almost any meat or seafood and any and all parts of a chicken. I prefer the breast, so I started with:
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- Kosher Salt and coarsely ground black pepper (enough to season both sides of the breast)
- Dried Oregano (also, enough to season both sides of the chicken breast; about 1 TBS)
- 1 cup all purpose flour, plus 2 TBS
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 TBS Grape Seed Oil
- 3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 2 TBS fresh Garlic, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 red Bell Pepper, sliced thin, about 2" long pieces
- 1/2 green Bell Pepper, sliced thin, about 2" long pieces
- 4 ounces white Button Mushrooms, sliced thick (I would have used 8 .oz but I only had half a box (and you can use the mushrooms of your choice).
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional, and more or less)
- 1 medium Zucchini, sliced in rounds
- 1 can (14.5 .oz) Hunt's Basil, Garlic, Oregano Diced Tomatoes
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup good grade imported Sweet Marsala Wine
- 1/2 cup no salt added chicken stock or broth
- 1 TBS honey
Step 2: Preparation:
- Lightly pound the chicken breast so that it becomes uniformly thick, then season each side with salt, pepper, and dried oregano.
- Slice the chicken breast into strips about 3" long x 1/2 to 1" thick.
- In a large flat bowl or plate mix 1 cup all purpose flour with 1 tsp cornstarch and 1/2 tsp baking powder together and coat the chicken strips all over with this mixture. Cover & refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Chop the garlic, slice the onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms
- Add 3 TBS of Grape seed Oil or other high temperature cooking oil plus 1 TBS EVOO and heat a heavy cast iron skillet or non-stick pot or pan over medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot (shimmering but not smoking) add the chicken strips (in batches if necessary; don't crowd the pan) and fry for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain over paper towels).
- Add the sliced mushrooms, onions and bell peppers to the same pan, and another TBS of EVOO, and saute for a minute or two, stirring with wooden spoons as you do this;
- Add the chopped garlic, red pepper flakes if using, and cook for another minute or two (don't burn the garlic); then add the tomatoes. Stir in 2 TBS of flour and continue to cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes.
- Add the Marsala wine and cook for a minute more, then add the Chicken Stock or broth, honey, and the juice of one lime.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the browned chicken slices and stir to thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Continue to cook over medium high heat for about 3 minutes; then reduce the heat to medium low.
- Taste the liquid; add more seasoning if desired (S&P, Oregano, etc).
- Add the Zucchini slices and mix to coat; cover the pan and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the Zucchini is fork tender (firm, not mushy) and the internal heat of the Cacciatore is 165 degrees F.
Step 3: TIME TO EAT . . .
I suggest serving the Cacciatore with slices of homemade garlic bread; topped with shredded Parmesan Cheese along with a glass (or two) of a good red wine. I would prefer an imported Italian Chianti for this dish, but I had to settle for a good Frontera Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile this time!
Mangia e divertiti
Step 4: NUTRITION:
I have evaluated the nutrition of ingredients in this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer. Garlic Bread, Parmesan Cheese, and wine not included.