Friday, March 5, 2010

Crock-Pot Cacciatore

Yes, I am still having fun playing with my Crock-pot. This time I went for a classic Italian dish: chicken cacciatore. I've only made it a couple of times the traditional way, but thought it would be perfect to try in a slow cooker. I was right.

It still requires a bit of stove-top prep time, but I think it's an important part of process to maximize flavor. And while my mother-in-law's chicken cacciatore still reigns supreme, this is a good contender for second place.

Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1-2 pounds of chicken pieces (I used all thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into half moons
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
Directions
  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan skin side down and cook until nicely browned. Turn the pieces over and brown on the other side.
  4. Once nicely browned, remove the pan from the heat, and place the chicken in the Crock-pot.
  5. Keep about 2 tablespoons of the chicken fat in the pan, pour off the rest.
  6. Return the pan to the heat and add the onions, garlic and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions get slightly translucent.
  7. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add the red wine and bring it to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the crushed tomatoes and oregano. Bring it all back to a simmer.
  10. Remove from heat and pour over the chicken in the Crock-Pot.
  11. Stir in the thawed peas.
  12. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bone.
Alternative
  • It seems every region of Italy has its own version of this hunter's style chicken. My grandmother did it in more of brown sauce while some cooks use only mushrooms and no other veggies. My husband grew up with carrots and peas in his cacciatore so that's how I do it. Have fun with it. It's all delicious.
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