Thomasina Miers’ recipe for chicken cacciatore | Chicken

this Italian hunter stew combines a handful of Mediterranean ingredients with chicken or, sometimes, rabbit. Slowly braising the veggies and chicken in a wine and tomato-infused sauce is a beautifully simple way to make the most of familiar ingredients you may already have in your fridge. It makes for a very comforting dinner.

Falling chicken cacciatore

I love the coriander seeds rubbed into the chicken skin, but leave them out if you like authenticity.

Preparation 20 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Serves 4

4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp coriander seed (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepperstem, seeds and pit removed, flesh cut into thin strips
1 green pepperstem, seeds and pit removed, flesh cut into thin strips
2 red onionshalved, peeled and finely chopped
1 fennel bulbouter leaves removed, remainder finely chopped (or 3 celery stalks, finely chopped)
3 cloves of garlicpeeled and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh oregano leavescoarsely chopped
240 ml white wine
500 g very ripe tomatoescoarsely chopped

Season the chicken generously. If using the coriander seeds, grind them fine in a mortar or spice grinder and rub the chicken all over with a tablespoon of olive oil. You can do this the night before or an hour before, but either way bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking.

Place a roasting pan or large, deep skillet over medium heat and, once hot, place inside the chicken legs, skin side down, and brown for five to six minutes. Flip, cook for a few minutes until golden brown, then transfer to a plate.

Pour the rest of the oil into the pan, followed by the onions, peppers and fennel, season generously and cook over medium to medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes, allowing the vegetables to sink in without browning. Add the garlic and oregano, cook for a few more minutes, then add the wine, turn the heat to high and simmer for a few minutes. Finally, stir in the chopped tomatoes.

Return the chicken legs to the pan, cover with a lid that is slightly tilted and simmer gently for 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone and the vegetables have melted into a syrupy, silky mess. Serve with rice or boiled potatoes to soak up the sauce.

The simple flex

This sauce is delicious with chunks of potato stewed in it instead of chicken. Sprinkle the finished braise with mozzarella and bake for a final 10 minutes for a sumptuous, vegetarian supper.