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RECIPE
Serves 2 with generous leftovers

A CookTale

When I run out of ideas as to what to do with Chicken Thighs, a savory stew like Chicken Cacciatore continues to work for me. And of all the recipes for Chicken Cacciatore (Google lists over 800,000), Mario Batali’s Chicken Hunter Style, which dates back to 2000, is my old reliable. My adaptation has the audacity to make changes in Signore Mario’s recipe. But when eaten, it all seems to work out.

INGREDIENTS

5 Chicken Thighs 8 Ounces each (bone in, skin on)
3 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 Branches of fresh Rosemary (leaves removed & minced)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
EVOO
2 Large Yellow Onions (coarsely chopped)
1 Pound of large White Mushrooms (cut into 1-inch cubes)
4 Ounces of Pancetta (diced)
4 Sweet Italian Sausages (cut in thirds to 12 pieces)
1 Cup of White Wine or Vermouth
1 28-Ounce can of whole Tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
1 Cup of Chicken Stock
2 Ounces of Poultry Demi Glace (optional)
A pinch of Sugar
A pinch of Red Chili Flakes (to taste)
1/3 Cup of Parsley leaves (chopped)

METHOD

1. Cut the Chicken Thighs into 10 pieces.

2. Combine the Garlic, Rosemary, Salt & Pepper & enough EVOO to make a somewhat dry paste. Divide the paste evenly among the 10 pieces, toss, cover & refrigerate for 2 hours.

3. In a dutch oven, add EVOO and cook until smoking. Brush the excess paste from the bird & sear each piece of meat on all sides. (This is part of their cooking). Remove the seared Thighs to a plate lined with paper towels.

4. Add the Onions, Mushrooms & Pancetta to the dutch oven & cook over high heat until the Onions are golden brown & the fat has been rendered from the Pancetta. Drain the excess oil, then add the Wine & stir the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned bits. Add the Tomatoes, squeezing each in your hand to break them up, add the Chicken Stock, the (optional) Demi Glace, the Sugar & Chili flakes & bring it all to a boil. Return the Chicken Thighs to the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, covered, then 10 minutes more, uncovered. The Thighs must not be overdone.

5. Heat a large skillet with 1TB of EVOO. Add the 12 pieces of Sausage & saute until browned. Do not overcook them or they’ll dry out. Place them in the dutch oven with the other ingredients. Maintain the heat on low to keep the Stew warm.

6. Add three or four pieces of Chicken Thighs to each plate, and liberally spoon the sauce on & around. Top with chopped Parsley & serve immediately.

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