Sunday, October 10, 2010

Emeril's Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

I had this last night at Joe and Mary Beth's new house, overlooking the river. It was rich and succulent--the perfect meal for a fall evening--without being heavy. Mary Beth used boneless, skinless chicken thighs to really lighten up the recipe. If you don't have a slow cooker, you could certainly finish it on top of the stove or in the oven on a 250.

4 servings

8 chicken thighs (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups yellow onions, sliced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces), crushed, with juices
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Cooked pasta (optional), for serving
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional), grated, for serving

Season the chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper, and Essence. Dredge lightly in 1/4 cup of the flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and, when hot, cook the chicken thighs until golden on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer thighs to the slow cooker. To the same skillet add the onions, mushrooms and red pepper flakes, and cook until softened and lightly caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf and remaining 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, and remaining salt, and stir to combine. Transfer to the slow cooker, cover and cook until chicken is fork-tender, 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high.

Stir in the basil and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let sit on warm for 10 minutes, then serve over cooked pasta, garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Emeril's Essence
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Mix all ingredients together and store in a spare spice jar.

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