After all that cooking for Christmas eve and Christmas day I wanted something simple to make, something you could just throw in the pan, place in the oven and forget about for a few hours. This farmers stew did just the trick.
I erved it with polenta which I prepared the polenta a day ahead, so I only needed to fry it until crispy 10 minutes before plating up. But this dish is also lovely with pasta or gnocchi for example. Serve with fresh crusty bread to soak up all the tomatoey goodness, a comforting dish full of veggies and flavour.
Chicken Cacciatore with Garlicky & Cheesy Polenta
- Chicken Cacciatore
- 4 - 6 chicken thighs with bone and skin on, ± 1 kg
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- Pepper and salt to taste
- 300 g chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 2 cans whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, left whole
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (or to taste)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup red or white wine
- To serve
- Handful chopped parsley
- Polenta, pasta or gnocchi
- Crunchy fresh bread
You can choose to make this either in the oven or on the stove top. I like to use the oven on low heat, as I feel it cooks more evenly and you can control the temperature better. On stove top works fine too, just make sure you use a heat divider so the flame doesn't just heat one spot at the bottom. Either way, use a heave based pan with a lid for this.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Prep all your ingredients so you can move quickly.
Season the chicken well on both sides, heat a glug of olive oil to the pan and add the chicken, skin side down on medium heat. Don't be tempted to move the chicken right away as it will stick to the bottom. When the skin starts crisping up it will be easy to lift up and move around.
Sear the chicken for ± 4 minutes on each side until nice and brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
To the same pan add a small drop of extra oil and add the onion, sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
Add the garlic, chili flakes and thyme and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the peppers and mushrooms, stir and sauté for 1 minute on high heat.
Add the tomato paste and mix well, sauté for ± 3 minutes, making sure the tomato paste doesn't burn. Turn down the heat slightly if this is the case, or even add a drop of water.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and let bubble away for ± 2 minutes so all the alcohol evaporates.
Add the tomatoes and the stock, give it a good stir and break down the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
Bring to a simmer and nestle the chicken on top, skin side up.
Place in the oven and bake for ±50 minutes until chicken is cooked through and skin is nice and crispy.
Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley, crunchy bread and pasta or polenta for example.