I remember making chicken cacciatore as a teenager on the farm. That was ethnic cooking, at that time. I'm sure I didn't use olives or mushrooms! That was just 'too out there' for us.
Served over pasta or polenta and with steamed vegetables makes a great dinner. Leftovers are even better the next day. If you make it a day early, under cook a bit and reheat slowly in a pan to finish cooking.
Chicken Cacciatore adapted from The Joy of Cooking Serves 6-8
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 lbs chicken parts
fresh ground black pepper
3 T olive oil
1 c chopped onions
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 t chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 t dried, crumbled
1 t minced fresh sage or 1/2 t dried crumbled
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 c dry red or white wine
3/4 c chicken stock
8 oz canned whole tomatoes, with juice, crushed in your hands
1/2 c oil-cured black olives, pitted and sliced (optional)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Remove skin, debone and cut into serving size pieces. Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat and brown chicken pieces on all sides. Remove chicken from the pan.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped onions, bay leaf, rosemary and sage. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden, about 5 minutes. Then add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.
3. Return the chicken to the pan and add wine, tomatoes, chicken stock. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
4. Add olives and mushroom if you are using them. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
5. Uncover the pan and boil the pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened. Season to taste. Serve.