I’ve said it a thousand times. The best thing about chicken is that it’s a blank canvas. Yet this simple, homey, peasant dish is easily elevated in so many ways. I love Chicken Cacciatore. Cacciatore means “Hunter’s Style”, and is often made in the cooler months with game the hunters have returned with and mushrooms they may have foraged. Typically made with tougher game birds, the meat is simmered in tomato sauce and red wine until it becomes tender. Recently, I created a sort Cacciatore minus the tomato. It relies on boneless chicken thighs, which is a big time saver during the week. This dish was finished in about 40 minutes, was full of flavor and is simple to prepare.
Pollo Cacciatore Bianco
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, cut up into chunks
- 6 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 can white cannellini beans
- Handful fresh parsley
Begin by browning the thighs in a heavy bottomed pan in about 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and when the chicken is browned but still raw inside, remove to a dish. Add the onion and 4 garlic cloves and sauté over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until softened and picking up brown color from the bottom of the pot.
Once softened, deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup dry white wine and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Return the chicken to the pot, add the parsley and bring to a boil. Once the pot boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through completely. If you need to, add a teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in cold water to the dish to thicken the juices.
At this point, you’re basically done! Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Warm gently in some olive oil and 2 cloves chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper and use as a “base” for the chicken. Plate the chicken on the beans with lots of juice and onions from the pot. We served asparagus alongside! Perfetto!
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Buon fine settimana.