After the mildest of falls, the weather has done a quick about-face and out came the winter hats and mis-matched mittens (I swear I had full sets when I packed them up last March!) along with my trusty Dutch oven. It’s getting lots of action with a succession of one-pot meals like this one. This Chicken Cacciatore is far from authentic but it’s close to perfection on a busy weekday when I’ve got just enough energy to get dinner together but not for a big clean up afterwards. Plus, the leftovers can go in a thermos for the next day’s school lunch.
Cheat’s Chicken Cacciatore
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb mushrooms, brushed, trimmed and sliced
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp rosemary (minced if you’re using fresh)
1 x 19 oz can of whole tomatoes
1 x 15 oz can of cannellini beans
Get out your Dutch oven – or another large, heavy bottomed pot – and your cutting board and knife and that’s all you’re going to need for this recipe. Don’t you feel more relaxed already?
Warm the oil in your pot over medium high heat. Slice the chicken thigh into about four pieces each and season them with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the meat. Don’t worry about cooking it through, you’re just building a nice color for now. When the meat is brown, set it aside on a clean plate and drain all but about 2 Tbsp of fat.
Reduce the heat slightly and toss in your mushrooms. It’s going to seem like too many at first but fear not. They will eventually submit to you, collapse and take up much less space. Just keep stirring them every couple of minutes. Once they’re cooked down, add the garlic and rosemary and let it sautee for another minute.
Add the tomatoes – not drained – and beans – dreained, please – and use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes. Add the cooked chicken pieces and allow it all to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste to check seasoning and add some salt and pepper if you like.