The Best Chicken Cacciatore

This chicken cacciatore is a real stick-to-your ribs dinner. Dark meat chicken is seared and braised in a hearty wine and tomato sauce until tender for a rustic homestyle meal. We love it as-is with maybe just a side salad, but no one would be upset if you served it on a bed of creamy polenta!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

6 chicken drumsticks 

6 chicken thighs 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

4 ounces pancetta, diced 

2 small carrots, peeled and diced (about 3/4 cup)  

1 celery stalk, diced 

1 medium yellow onion, diced 

4 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 tablespoon oregano leaves, chopped 

1 cup dry red wine 

One 28-ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes, crushed 

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook the chicken until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate or baking sheet.  
  3. Discard the oil. Put the pot over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the pancetta with a slotted spoon to a small plate.  
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the carrots, celery and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  5. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced by about two-thirds, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and reserved pancetta. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  
  6. Reduce the heat to low and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors come together, 35 to 40 minutes.  
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  
  8. Add the chicken skin-side up to the sauce, cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 35 to 40 minutes.  
  9. Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.  
  10. If necessary, skim off any fat from the surface of the sauce with a large spoon or ladle and discard. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with more parsley.