This week, we’re spotlighting recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper! by Ree Drummond (William Morrow/HarperCollins). This is Drummond’s fourth cookbook and features her signature step-by-step approach to creating simple, satisfying food. Try making the recipes at home and let us know what you think!
Photograph by Ree Drummond
By Ree Drummond
Makes 6 to 8 servings
I am a lover of braised meats, whether it’s pot roast or short ribs or beef brisket…or this beautiful stewed chicken dish. Just give me some meat, a pot with a lid, and some combination of liquid ingredients, and I’ll be eating out of your hand…as long as your hand is holding braised meat.
That might have been the weirdest introductory sentence of any recipe I’ve ever written.
Chicken cacciatore generally involves browning chicken pieces in a pot over high heat, then sautéing a mix of vegetables—onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes—in the same pot. Spices are added, followed by a little wine and broth, and the chicken and veggies are allowed to cook together in the oven long enough for magic to happen…
And magic does happen.
I use chicken thighs for this recipe because I happen to love chicken thighs. But you can use cut-up whole chicken or a mix of your favorite pieces. Just be sure to leave the skin on you’ll regret it the rest of your life.
Not that I’m dramatic or anything.
8 skin-on chicken thighs
½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ teaspoon ground thyme
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 pound wide egg noodles
Minced parsley, for sprinkling
Grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper to taste and dredge it in the flour.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the chicken skin side down in the pot. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 2 minutes total, and remove it to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Pour off half the fat from the pot and discard.
Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir and cook the mixture for a few minutes, until the veggies start to soften and turn golden. (The turmeric will also add some gorgeous golden color.)
Pour in the wine (or broth), then stir, and let the liquid bubble up and reduce for a couple of minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, juices and all. Then return the chicken to the pan, slightly submerging it in the liquid and spooning some of the veggies on top. Place the lid on the pot, put the pot in the oven, and braise the chicken for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles to al dente, then drain.
Remove the lid and increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Braise for 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a plate. Remove the vegetables from the pot and place them on another plate. Set the pot on the stovetop and turn the heat to high. Cook to reduce the sauce for a couple of minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if it needs it.
Pile the noodles on a large platter, lay on the chicken and veggies, then ladle the sauce all over the top (you probably won’t use all of it). Sprinkle on parsley and Parmesan.
Cook up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate and reheat as described in the Variation below.
If you have time, remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot after cooking and store them in the fridge separately from the liquid. After several hours, skim off any fat that has risen/solidified on top of the liquid, then return the chicken and veggies to the pan. Warm on the stovetop and serve.
Reprinted with permission from The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime