When we were kids we called it chicken cacciatore also known as ‘hunter’s stew’. Now I just call it D.M.D. or dead mom dinner.
I know the acronym is a bit jarring but that is actually what this dish is to me and it’s one I make when I am missing her. Which was recent.
My mom was gone two years this April. I thought this anniversary was going to be one with fewer tears. I absolutely thought I was going to be able to keep it together.
I guess I was wrong.
Grief is funny like that. The waves are more spread out over time, but I still cry. So, I cook.
Chicken Cacciatore was one of her staples. I remember her making this one a lot. Now, I am a mom and I know why.
It was one of her weeknight wonders. A meal she could whip up in a flash, feed hungry bellies, and the bonus was slow-cooked flavor.
I remember hanging in my room like most teenagers do and the aromas of whatever she was cooking would start to swirl up to my room.
I think she used food as her lure. God, I miss her.
Junebug is gone but never forgotten. She had her finger on the pulse of cozy living.
Now, every time I open my laptop to The Sister Project, I see our logo. A house with smoke coming out of the chimney and then very often, much of what I write here, often ties back to her and the legacy she has left behind.
We are her legacy.
Hug your mom.
- Dutch Oven or cast iron skillet
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped I use pre-chopped jarred garlic to save time.
- 2 green peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 package sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 c red wine
- 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes and juice I prefer San Marzanos
- 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp butter
- chopped fresh parsley
- pasta or rice
- Turn heat on medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of oil, season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil. Sear the chicken on both sides (about 2 mins each). Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. 1 minute or so. Then add the peppers and mushrooms and cook for another five minutes. Add the dried seasonings, salt, and pepper.
- Pour in the wine, scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. About 2 minutes.
- Add San Marzano tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. I crush the San Marzanos with my hand and then add the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the chicken to the skillet, add the butter, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes or so.
- In the meantime, boil water for your pasta (I prefer a long noodle for this dish or rice)
- Cut chicken into slices, return to the stew.
- Plate, garnish with parsley and serve.