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Old 01-31-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
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Baked Chicken Cacciatore

I've always loved Chicken Cacciatore - regardless of the specific recipe, but husband never did. Even though most recipes call for an initial browning of the chicken before the rest of the ingredients are added, husband claims that - to him at least - the chicken always seems "gloppy".

So yesterday, since I had a taste for it, I cruised around & adapted several different recipes into one. The pre-baking of the chicken keeps the skin MUCH crisper than just the browning most recipes call for. In fact, the skin remains crisp even after the 30-minute baking with the vegetable/sauce mixture. Husband not only LOVED it, but came back for seconds. Hallelujah - lol!! Now we can both enjoy it.

Breezy Baked Chicken Cacciatore

1 whole chicken, cut into serving parts
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bell peppers - 1 green, 1 red – sliced into strips

8 ounces Cremini or white button mushrooms - sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

Dry red wine (burgundy, chianti, etc.)
Approx. 1 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour olive oil in to coat a 9 by 13-inch or similar-size baking pan. Turn chicken pieces in the pan to lightly coat with the oil, & then arrange skin-side down. Season lightly with salt & pepper, & bake for 25 minutes; turn skin-side up, re-season with salt & pepper, & continue baking for 25 minutes more.
Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a skillet & sauté onions & peppers until just beginning to soften. Add mushrooms & continue sautéing until mushrooms begin to cook down & give up their liquid. Add garlic & sauté for a few minutes more, being sure not to allow garlic to brown or burn. Add tomatoes & wine, using can to measure in approx. 1/3 a can of wine. Stir in oregano, & allow mixture to simmer until heated through.
Pour tomato/veggie mixture evenly over chicken pieces in baking pan & continue baking for 30 minutes. Serve with a side of your favorite pasta, utilizing some of the sauce from the chicken to dress it, along with a green salad & some garlic bread.

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Old 01-31-2008, 01:37 PM   #2
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Yum yum yum! I looooooove chicken cacciatore but don't often make it because I don't want to babysit it. A baking recipe is just the ticket. Thanks, Breezy - this will be dinner on Sunday
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:18 PM   #3
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Could i use boneless skinless chicken breasts in place of the whole chicken with this? I guess it wouldn't have the skin if i did that though... I just don't like to handle whole chickens more than i have to.. If it won't be the same thats fine, i was just curious. This sounds so great!
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner_chef View Post
Could i use boneless skinless chicken breasts in place of the whole chicken with this? I guess it wouldn't have the skin if i did that though... I just don't like to handle whole chickens more than i have to.. If it won't be the same thats fine, i was just curious. This sounds so great!
Hi. Boneless chicken will cook faster but not have as much flavor as bone-in chicken. Without the skin, there's also the risk they could dry out; you might want to make sure they're well-covered with sauce if you go with skinless.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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Sounds like a great recipe. Nice change from the big pot. I'll put this on my menu for next family night. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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Have to agree with GotGarlic - don't think boneless skinless breasts would work here. Not only would they cook way too quickly & not have as much flavor, but definitely - even with the sauce - would become too dry. Plus, a goodly amount of the flavor in Cacciatores comes from the incorporation of the fat released from the chicken skin into the sauce. You could, however, probably go with skin-on bone-in chicken leg/thigh quarters.

That said, even though I put "whole chicken cut into serving pieces" in the recipe, I used a package of Perdue "pre-cut whole chicken pieces" for this. Even though you pay a few cents more per pound, if you don't want to cut up a whole chicken yourself, there's nothing wrong with using a pre-cut chicken. I often buy these packs when the markets have them on sale - great to have on hand in the freezer when you just don't feel like starting with a whole bird.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:34 PM   #7
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Okay, I've been wanting to make this for a long time now.. I bought my chicken pieces, and the only red wine I could find at our grocery store is "Red Truck 2005 california red wine" It was about $10.00.

Will this work?

What else can I use this wine for?
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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ummm, to clean truck parts?

No seriously nearly every stir fry recipe has some use for it. So if you like Chinese you've got plenty of uses there. You can probably make some sort of flavored pudding type creme e.g. Zabaglione, Creme ANgouleme or something like that. Certain veggies like cabbage you can put it in. Cabbage is very versatile you can make it sweet/sour; sweet/salty; hot/sweet, etc. You can do a London broil or a pork loin or some sort of slow cooked meat....Cookies? I almost never drink wine but never run out of stuff to put it in.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner_chef View Post
What else can I use this wine for?
Do you have wine glasses? If so, place one next to each plate, at around the 1 o'clock positon, and fill each glass with the wine.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner_chef View Post
Okay, I've been wanting to make this for a long time now.. I bought my chicken pieces, and the only red wine I could find at our grocery store is "Red Truck 2005 california red wine" It was about $10.00.

Will this work?

What else can I use this wine for?
Red Truck is fine.
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