My Recipe Box

Chicken Cacciatore with Sautéed Mushrooms & Zucchini


Serves four to six.

  • To learn more, read:
    Shortcut Chicken Stews
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 56

Canned tomatoes give this stew a chunky, full texture, so I don't purée the vegetables as I do in the other stews. Serve the stew over white rice, if you like.

  • 6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 lb.), large pieces of fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine (like Chianti)
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tsp. chopped
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Pinch crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb. white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pitted mixed green and black olives, quartered
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley; more for garnish

Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half the thighs and brown them well, 2 to 3 min. per side. Transfer to a large plate. Brown the remaining thighs and reserve with the rest.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, red pepper, and garlic. Season generously with salt and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon and scraping up any browned bits, until the onion softens and browns, about 12 min. Turn the heat to high, add the wine, and cook until it's almost completely reduced, about 2 min. Reduce the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and their juices, the thyme sprigs, rosemary, and chile flakes. Nestle the chicken into the sauce and add any accumulated juices. Cook, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon for 10 min. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar, and stew the chicken, turning it occasionally, until it's cooked through (check by slicing through the bottom of one of the thighs to the bone), another 25 to 30 min. If you like, discard the thyme sprigs, rosemary, and garlic.

When the stew is almost done, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the zucchini. Season well with salt and pepper; sauté until the zucchini is tender and lightly browned, 3 to 4 min. Transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 4 min. Add the olives and chopped thyme, return the zucchini to the pan, and toss. Fold the zucchini mixture and the parsley into the stew. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of parsley.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings, Calories (kcal): 240, Fat (kcal): 13, Fat Calories (g): 120, Saturated Fat (g): 2, Protein (g): 17, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8, Carbohydrates (mg): 14, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2, Sodium (g): 460, Cholesterol (g): 55, Fiber (g): 4,

Photo: Scott Phillips

All I can say is...yum, yum, yum!! If you are a Weight Watcher, and cut the sautéing oil in half, and you have 6 points per chicken thigh with sauce. We found it to be a complete meal.

I thought this was delicious. I didn't find it to be be too much work. I made it on a weeknight (granted - I do like to spend time cooking on work nights) but it was exceptional. I followed the recipe pretty much as is. I served over egg noodles since I was out of rice. I can't complain WHATSOEVER and am about to pass it on to my favorite cooks. (I'm also really looking forward to the leftovers!)

This was tasty, but the directions, in my opinion are crazy. I do not see the need to saute zucchini and mushrooms seperately. A step not needed.

Outstanding recipe! It got rave reviews from our guests that night. As usual, I twisted the recipe around: (a) I doubled it; (b) as I can't stand zucchini, I left it out; (c) I used a full cup of chianti (doubled recipe would have called for 2/3 c); (d) I used dried herbs, 1 Tbsp of each; (e) and -- the crowning touch -- San Marzano tomatoes: for those who haven't tried them, they're worth the price (typically these run 3-4 times the price of normal canned tomatoes). I served it over kamut fettucine (600 g used for 6 persons). The doubled recipe, BTW, made enough for the six of us (4 of whom are big eaters), with sufficient left over for 2-3 more. I am, though, perplexed by "lots of work" that I read below. I made this recipe AND another (chicken and sweet pepper stew, also an FC recipe) during a 90-minute period: started at 11:55 and had both on the back burners at minimum heat by 13:20.

This recipe holds some new twists for an old classic!! Tasted great!! But, LOTS of work... The olives added an interesting note!! And we liked how the zucchini and mushrooms were sautéed separately and added at the very end with the olives, so that each kept its individual flavour intact while adding to the whole. [We're adding this one to our recipe box!!]

This is a new twist to an old classic!! Tasted great!! But, LOTS of work... We liked how the zucchini and mushrooms were sautéed and added at the very end with the olives, so that each kept its individual flavour intact while adding to the whole. The olives added an interesting note!! We'll add this to our recipe box!!

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