The dish is one of my mother’s specialties that I was obsessed with as a kid. She usually made the chicken and peppers in the oven, and poured it over Minute Rice for dinner. The combination of meaty chicken, tomatoes, peppers and rice to me was comforting as well as healthy. When I was a hungry teenage student athlete, I would eat an extra large portion plus every last bit of leftovers, particularly during volleyball and badminton seasons (yes, I played varsity badminton. Yes, it’s a real sport. Yes, we won a state championship and a third place state finish. Shuttlecock THAT.)
Since I was working out again being sick, and E is now at Cross Fit three times a week, I was inspired to make a sandwich fit for an athlete.
Usually you include mushrooms in the chicken cacciatore, but E as you know hates the fungi. For my recipe, I doubled up on the peppers and onions, but you could substitute mushrooms for a pepper or two if you like.
I bought a whole chicken for the dish, which made enough chicken cacciatore for E and I for dinner, and a ridiculously good sub sandwich the next day. Plus we used the carcass to make chicken stock, and stored the broth in our refrigerator for future meals. I made E a chicken cacciatore hoagie that was as big as my head–perhaps a momentary flashback to my hungry teenage years–so we split one sub between us both.
1 whole 3 to 4 pound chicken
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can crushed plum tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 medium sized yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons herbs de provence
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup apple cider
4 hoagie buns
First quarter the chicken into serving sized pieces of thighs, legs and breasts. Take the chicken pieces and coat them with herbs de provance seasoning, one tablespoon oregano, salt and pepper to season the chicken. Coat with flour, and warm the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Brown the chicken parts in a large skillet on the stove for about 5 minutes, until the skin is brown and crispy. Remove meat from heat, and set chicken in the Crock-Pot.
Next, soften the vegetables–add crushed garlic, peppers and onions by placing them in the skillet and cooking for about 3 minutes. Add red wine and cider and cook for another minute or two, stirring frequently, getting the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add the crushed tomatoes and simmer for another three minutes. Remove from heat and pour mixture over the chicken in the CP. Cover with lid and set timer to 6 hours.
When done, the chicken will literally fall of the bone. At that point, toast hoagie buns. Split in half and scoop out peppers and chicken onto the buns. Serve. Makes enough for four large hoagies.