- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 pieces skin-on, bone in chicken (preferably legs and thighs)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ cup flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend or Herbs de Provence
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and sliced*
- 1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
- Optional to finish: chopped fresh Italian parsley, ripped basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350º.
Add olive oil to a large Dutch oven or ovenproof skillet and heat over medium heat. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour to coat on all sides. Place chicken skin side down in the hot oil and brown until fragrant and crispy, about five minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add onions, garlic, carrots, dried herbs and a bay leaf to the pan and cook in hot oil until golden and beginning to soften, about eight minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine ingredients. Return the chicken to the pan, nesting on top of tomatoes so the skin stays slightly above the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then place the Dutch oven in the preheated oven and allow to braise until the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. While the cacciatore sauce is cooking, cook the spaghetti to al dente. Towards the end of the chicken cooking time, sauté the sliced mushrooms in olive oil on the stovetop or roast in the oven. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken cacciatore from the oven, taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon a few ladles of the cacciatore sauce over the spaghetti and mix in. Serve the chicken over the spaghetti. Top each portion with some of the mushrooms and fresh herbs if using. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
*The mushrooms were not part of my Mom’s original preparation, but something I’ve added as I’ve made the dish myself. I feel they’re a great complement to the sweetness of the sauce.