Chicken Cacciatore with Roasted Peppers
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- 2 large red field peppers or bell peppers
- 1 cup loosely packed dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups chicken stock
- A few stems each of flat-leaf parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
- 10 to 12 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken (no wings, save them for stock!)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium or 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
- 1 red finger chili pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 bottle medium-bodied Italian red wine
- 1 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes
- Crusty bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with EVOO or egg pappardelle, 2 ounces per person, served with extra sauce
Roast the peppers by charring them over an open flame on a gas stovetop or under a broiler on high until skins evenly blacken and the flesh is tender. Place peppers in a bowl and cover; let cool so they can be handled. Peel, seed and stem the peppers then quarter the peppers lengthwise and slice into strips.
Place porcini mushrooms in a medium saucepot and cover with stock. Bring to a low boil and simmer to reconstitute and reduce the stock by a third.
Meanwhile, tie herbs in bundle with kitchen twine. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and preheat oven to 325°F. Add oil, 2 turns of the pan, then add chicken in 2 batches and brown until crispy on both sides; remove to a plate. Add onions, celery, garlic and chili pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to soften a few minutes then add tomato paste to the pot and stir a minute more; add wine and reduce by half.
Remove porcini from stock, chop and add to sauce. Add stock and canned tomatoes, breaking them up a bit. Add herb bundle and the browned chicken to the pot then cover, place in the oven and roast 60 minutes.
Remove chicken and some sauce to a serving platter or plates with extra sauce in another dish for passing. Serve crusty bread for mopping or toss some of the extra sauce with pappardelle and serve alongside chicken.