For this classic Italian chicken dish, simmer chicken pieces in a hearty mixture of onion, tomato, and celery flavored with capers, olives and fresh herbs and serve over pasta.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinned chicken breast halves
4 chicken thighs (about 1 pound), skinned
4 chicken drumsticks (about 1 pound), skinned
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup capers
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of ground red pepper
1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 bay leaves
8 cups hot cooked macaroni or cavatappi (about 12 ounces uncooked spiral-shaped pasta)
Parsley sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken breasts to pan, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until the chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken breasts from pan. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add celery, and sauté 5 minutes. Add basil and next 8 ingredients (basil through bay leaves). Return chicken to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaves. Serve with pasta, and garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.
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Overall this is a delicious recipe. I do like it better with modification by cutting down to 1/2 cup of celery and add 1 cup of carrots, 1 tbp of tomato paste, 1/2 cup of red wine instead of vinegar, 1/2 tsp sugar and adding 8oz of mushroom when cooking un covered.
I've made this dish quite a few times now. While I am happy with the ingredients and outcome as is, when I have time, especially when serving this to guests, I like to pump it up a bit by adding 1 cup diced carrots and 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms. I agree with others that a cup of red wine enhances the flavor, and I also add a half a can of tomato paste to thicken it up a bit. Like others, I prefer to use all chicken thighs (skinless), and when I have it on hand, I add a 1/4 cup of minced, fresh thyme and cup back to 1/4 cup of fresh basil. Either way, it always gets rave reviews!
I used much less chicken that it called for. That was just too much meat. I used black olives because that's what my family likes best and I don't like capers, so I left those out. But I loved the recipe and have added it to my permanant file.
Wow! This was delicious! I used kalamata olives and added extra tomatoes and a cup of red wine. I definitely recommend using the chicken combination of breasts, legs and thighs. Wonderful flavor! Will make often!
This is my favorite chicken dish! I follow the recipe exactly except that I only use dark meat. You can find boneless wings and thighs in the chicken section at your grocery store. The dark meat gives a much better chicken flavor. Absolutely amazing cacciatore recipe!
This was delicious - I used red bell peppers and mushrooms in place of the celery and really enjoyed. I used penne pasta and next time will use vermicelli or angel hair and possibly cook the pasta with the sauce before serving to let them absorb the sauce. I will definietly add it to my regular dishes.