POSTED: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 1:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 1:34pm
NATIONAL NEWS (CNN) — Catch this food holiday while you can - October 15 is National Chicken Cacciatore Day!
There's something so comforting about eating a warm bowl of slow-cooked food on a brisk autumn day. As the weather cools down, it's time to start hauling out those Dutch ovens and breaking out the Crock-Pots. If you're not ready for the richness of red meat, try this Italian classic - cacciatore.
Meaning "to hunt," cacciatore is an Italian stew traditionally made with rabbit or chicken. Today's culinary celebration honors the latter, and probably more prevalent. Cacciatore is relatively easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.
Start by browning floured and seasoned chicken pieces. While dark meat is preferred for flavor and because it holds up better in the braising process, you can use light meat if you prefer. Then, cook a chopped bell pepper and onion in the remaining chicken fat. Deglaze the pan with white wine, add tomatoes in their juice and let the liquid reduce. Return the chicken to the pan and pour in enough chicken stock to cover the meat. Simmer the dish until the chicken is cooked through.
Cacciatore is most often served with a piece of crusty bread, but rice and pasta can also be used to beef it up.
The dish doesn't vary too much by region -- probably the most notable difference is in the type of wine used. Some parts of Italy prefer white wine, while others use red.