Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
4 tablespoons cooking fat
1 pound chicken legs (bone-in, skin-on)
½ pound chicken thighs (boneless)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ onion, minced
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
While you could make this dish with boneless, skinless everything, you’d be missing out. The chicken skin holds the fat, and fat equals flavor. Plus, skin-on chicken retains the sauce better, and gives a warm, rustic look to the dish. While it’s not an official rule, we’d recommend purchasing pastured and/or organic chicken, especially when you are making dishes that include the chicken skin.
In a large skillet with high edges, heat 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and place in the pan. Sear the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
With the same pan still on medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking fat, onions, and peppers and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the capers and diced tomatoes.
Return the chicken to the pan and cover everything with the chicken broth or water. Reduce the heat to medium and bring everything to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and continue to simmer (not boil) until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F, about 30 minutes.
Garnish with the chopped basil and serve.
Make It a Meal: This one-pot meal technically stands alone, but to add even more nutritional power, serve over Cauliflower Rice, a plate of fresh baby spinach leaves, or a thin layer of mashed potatoes. For more of an Italian feel, serve over zucchini noodles or Roasted Spaghetti Squash.
✪With a Little Planning, you could buy a 2½ to 3 pound whole chicken and use it to make this entire dish. Strip the meat from the legs and thighs (keep the skin!) and refrigerate for later. When you’re ready to make this meal, start at the cacciatore instructions above, adding the roasted meat to the sauce and simmering for just 10 minutes to heat it all the way through. This reduces the cooking time to just 15 minutes, and makes the most of the whole chicken.