24 January, 2017
Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore
I haven’t posted a dinner in a while, so I figure that it’s about time I did.
Chicken is one of those meats that’s generally agreeable, even with hardcore carnivores like the boyfriend (who is more of the mindset that chicken is just a higher order vegetable). While it’s often prepared as a relatively light meat, in terms of palate, chicken cacciatore breaks that mold and presents chicken in a heartier form.
Alright, history time:
Did you know that “cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian? It’s because the chicken cacciatore dish was originally enjoyed by hunters during the Renaissance period, and instead of using chicken in their meals, they often would use rabbit or other game. Additionally, if something is prepared alla cacciatoria, that means it’s prepared “hunter-style,” with tomatoes, onions, peppers, herbs, and sometimes wine.
Now that we’ve all got a history lesson under our belts, who’s interested in making some awesome crockpot chicken cacciatore?
1 large onion
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 oz can artichoke hearts
salt and pepper, to season and to taste
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (use less if you’re not a fan of spice)
1/2 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup dry white wine (ex: Vermouth)
1/4 cup dry, full-bodied red wine (ex: Malbec) Drink the rest with dinner!
Thinly slice the onion and layer it in the bottom of the crock pot. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts (top and bottom) and lay them in the crock pot on top of the onions. In a medium bowl, stir together the tomato paste, mushrooms, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, some extra pepper, garlic, herbs, and both wines. Pour the mixture over the chicken breasts, and add the artichoke hearts on top of everything.
Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or cook on high for 3-4 hours. Remove the bay leaf, and serve the chicken over your choice of pasta (I personally recommend thin spaghetti). Pair the dish with the rest of the red wine, and enjoy!