Braising chicken is underrated. Everyone always wants to roast, fry, or grill, but braising gives the chicken time to absorb the utmost flavour and become extremely tender while staying moist.
This version of chicken cacciatore is made with the addition of sausage, peppers, garlic, potatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, olives and lots of red wine. It’s warming and luxurious, perfect for any winter table. I serve it with a chunk of crusty bread to soak up all of that delicious gravy, but it can also be served over rice or pasta. The garnish of lemon zest at the end brightens up the dish just enough.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 mild Italian sausages
4 chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks attached)
Salt and black pepper
1 large red onion, cut into ½” thick slices
1 large or 2 small green peppers, cut into ½” thick strips
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine (like a Chianti or even a Rioja or Malbec)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup strained tomato puree
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh black pepper
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
1 cup pitted green olives (I use Castelveltrano olives)
2 sprigs rosemary
6 bay leaves
Crusty country loaf of bread
1. In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium. Sear the sausages for 3-4 minutes per side.
2. While the sausages are searing, season the chicken legs well with lots of salt and pepper.
3. Once the sausages are browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and place the chicken into the pan, skin side down first.
4. Sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove them from the pan.
5. Add onions and peppers to the pan, and sauté until softened and they’ve picked up a bit of colour, about 6 minutes stirring often.
6. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, then add flour and cook for 1 minute.
7. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom to lift all of the flavour bits into the sauce.
8. Reduce the wine by half until there is about 1 cup left.
Stir in stock, strained tomatoes, salt and pepper.
9. Add in potatoes, olives, chicken legs and sausages to the pan. Be sure the chicken and sausages are in one layer. It’s fine if the potatoes are all underneath.
10. Add rosemary sprigs and bay leaves to the pan.
11. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover with the lid. Simmer on low for 1 hour, undisturbed.
12. Uncover and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes until the gravy is thick.
13. Before serving, zest a lemon over top. Enjoy with a crusty loaf of fresh bread!