I. Love. Chicken....thighs. There's something about dark meat that makes it so tender and delicate, juicy and oh so flavorful.
Chicken thighs are perfect in this dish; the quick searing of the thighs give them a nice outer crust. That, followed by a slow cooking in a bold, aromatic sauce makes a fork the only utensil needed for dining, as they just fall apart. To use a knife would just be blasphemous.
The anchovies, capers, and red wine really come together nicely to make an amazing sauce full of flavor from the searing of the chicken and the sweetness of the pepper/onion combination. Topped off with basil and oregano (unfortunately I didn't have fresh...really missing mom's summer herb garden) it has just the right amount of seasoning- I love it over egg noodles. A slightly untraditional combination, but absolutely fantastic and delicious.
Roman Chicken Cacciatore
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 anchovy fillets
2 cups chopped bell pepper (about 11 or 12 mini, mixed color peppers)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed then chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound cooked egg noodles, or any of your choice
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and oregano in a shallow dish ( I always use a pie plate, it's the perfect size and depth). Lightly coat the chicken thighs with the flour mixture and place in hot oil. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until a nice golden crust forms. Remove from pan and place on a paper-towel-lined plate while you prepare the sauce.
Add another 2 tablespoons of oil and the anchovies to the skillet. Break up the anchovies to evenly distribute their flavor as you build up the sauce. After about a minute, add in the peppers and cook for a few minutes, about 5, before adding in the onions and garlic. Continue to cook the peppers and onions until they are soft, about 5 minutes.
De-glaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up browned bits as you stir it in. Then add the tomatoes, capers, and dried herbs. Give the sauce a few good stirs before adding the chicken thighs back in. Cover slightly and allow to simmer on medium low heat for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve over hot noodles with a grating of Parmesan cheese.