Chicken alla Cacciatora


Serves 4 people

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 branches rosemary, leaves only, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
About ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces, or 8 chicken thighs, rinsed, and patted dry
2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound Portobello mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1-inch dice
4 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)
1 cup dry white wine



In a large bowl, combine the garlic, half of the rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste and add enough olive oil (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make a somewhat dry paste. Add the chicken and rub the paste evenly over the pieces of chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.


In a Dutch oven, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil over high heat until smoking. Brush the excess rub from the bird, and sear the chicken, in batches if necessary, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.


Add the onions, mushrooms, pancetta, and celery to the pot and cook until the onions are golden brown and the pancetta has rendered its fat, about 8 minutes. Drain off the excess oil, then add the tomato sauce and wine, stirring with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil.


Return the chicken to the pot, cover, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a festive platter, top with the sauce and remaining minced rosemary, and serve.



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