Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 260 minutes
Servings: 4

The hearty Italian stew known as chicken cacciatore, prepared in the “hunter’s style,” is a breeze to make in a slow cooker. This recipe comes to us from award-winning chef and cookbook author Bobby Flay. He combines tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers and fresh herbs to create a delicious sauce for meaty chicken thighs, which emerge meltingly tender and juicy after several hours of gentle simmering. Serve this cozy dish in bowls with Bobby’s Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower & White Bean Gratin for serving.

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. (500 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chile, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz./330 g) canned whole tomatoes, crushed with your fingers (about 6 tomatoes and their juices)
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tbs. capers, drained
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil, plus torn basil leaves for garnish

Directions:

Set a slow cooker to Preheat/Sear 400°F (200°C) and set for a maximum time of 15 minutes.

Season the chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper. Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in the slow cooker. Working in batches, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until browned on the other side, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Add the mushrooms to the cooker, season with salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a separate plate.

Change the slow cooker to Slow Cook Hi and set the cook time for 4 hours. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in the slow cooker. Add the onion, bell pepper, serrano chile and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, stir to combine and cook until starting to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook until starting to reduce, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes with their juices, red pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme sprigs and mushrooms, and season with salt and black pepper. Add the chicken, skin side up, nestling the pieces in the liquid.

Cover and cook for 3 1/2 hours. Uncover the cooker and stir in the capers and chopped basil. Partially cover the cooker and continue cooking to allow some steam to evaporate and the flavors to continue to meld, about 20 minutes more. Remove and discard the rosemary and thyme sprigs.

Transfer the chicken cacciatore to bowls and garnish with torn basil leaves. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Courtesy of Bobby Flay, Chef, Author and Television Host