Valerie Bertinelli is always excited to share treasured family recipes for classic Italian meals. Over the years on Valerie’s Home Cooking, viewers have joined her in the kitchen as she prepared dishes passed down from her mother, Nancy. A standout is this chicken cacciatore, or hunter-style chicken, made with plump chicken thighs, earthy cremini mushrooms, and a double shot of briny goodness from black olives and capers, all finished with a rich tomato sauce. It’s a simple, comforting dish that can be served with creamy polenta, mashed potatoes, or a bed of egg noodles. Once you’ve tried it, don’t be surprised if you keep returning to it whenever you’re looking for hearty, warming fare this fall.
Valerie Bertinelli’s Mom’s Chicken Cacciatore
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb sliced cremini mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, cut up with kitchen shears
3/4 cup halved black olives
2 Tbsp drained capers
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then toss them in a bowl with the flour to lightly coat.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the thighs and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the thighs to a plate.
3. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and the mushrooms are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until the peppers are just starting to soften, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then cook, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by about half. Add the oregano and rosemary. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer. Add the olives and capers. Return the chicken to the pot, nestling in the sauce. Reduce the heat to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
4. Sprinkle with the basil. Serve immediately.
Want to add more cozy homestyle dishes to your rotation? Look no further than Valerie Bertinelli’s Best Italian Recipes, From Lasagna to Cannoli.