In the Kitchen: Oven-Roasted Chicken Cacciatora

This arrived in my in-box courtesy of the fine folks at Splendid Table. It's truly scrumptious and so easy that it could be called Dummy Chicken.

The recipe comes from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. I'm probably violating a copyright law by posting the recipe, but . . . . On the other hand, it's a short recipe, so maybe I'm not. (Fair use allows free use of limited text.)

Oven-Roasted Chicken Cacciatora

  • 2.5 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs or chicken breast bone-in
  • 1/3 c. pitted Kalamata olives
  • 4 - 6 thin slices of cacciatore, Genoa, or hard salami, cut in 1-inch squares (I used Molinari brand.)
  • large red or green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (original recipe calls for red; I had a green one on hand)
  • 1 large fresh tomato or 3 drained canned ones, chopped coarse (I used an entire can; didn't want to waste it)
  • 1 medium to large red onion, chopped coarse
  • leaves from two 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary (didn't have any; used dried)
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, torn (ditto)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t. fennel seeds, lightly crushed (or not, see my note in text below)
  • 1/4 c. dry red wine
  • 1/4 c. good olive oil (this is the time to use the GOOD stuff; bold and fruity is best)
  • salt, pepper
  • juice of one lemon (which I forgot)

Preheat oven to 400.

Note: Since I didn't have fresh herbs, I just chopped up the sage, rosemary, and fennel with the garlic. Made a nice paste, it did, which served its purpose deliciously.

Arrange the chicken on a large shallow pan. The original suggested a half-sheet pan, but I used my 3 quart, shallow, round enameled cast iron pot. 

Scatter all the other ingredients, except the lemon, over the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes. Baste with pan juices, turn the chicken pieces over, and roast another 10-15 minutes. NOTE: the timing is predicated on using thighs. I used breast meat and adjusted the timing accordingly. It's done when the meat temperature reaches 180. If you wanted "browned" chicken, turn on the broiler for a minute or two. Squeeze the lemon juice over all just before serving.

Swoon. Swoon again a couple of nights later when you eat the leftovers. (Put dish, covered, in a cold oven. Turn the temperature to, I dunno, 250? 300? Heat for fifteen or so minutes.)