Spicy chicken cacciatore – another delicious economical family favourite that is perfect for a mid-week soul-warming meal. Chicken legs are relatively cheap and provide healthy low-fat protein. Enjoy!
For the tomato sauce:
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots,finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes
For the chicken cacciatore:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken legs, skin on
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
- 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and sliced
- glass red wine (about 175ml/6fl oz)
- ½ quantity tomato sauce
- 1-2 handfuls black olives
- chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve
- First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a pan and add the vegetables and bay leaf. Stir in the sugar with some salt. Gently cook for 10-15 mins until the veg is tender. Stir in the tomatoes and 150ml water. Simmer very gently for 30 mins until the sauce has reduced by two-thirds and is very thick.
- Stir occasionally, more so towards the end of the cooking time, so that the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom. If you like your sauce a little thinner, add a splash of water. You can freeze any sauce you don’t require immediately.
- Use top oven at 180ºC. Heat the oil in a deep, ovenproof roasting pan that’s big enough to fit the chicken in a single layer. Season the chicken pieces all over, then place the pan on the hotplate and cook for 7-10 mins on each side until well browned. Scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.
- Add the peppers and chilli to the pan and cook for 10 mins until soft and beginning to brown at the edges. Pour away any excess fat, then pour in the wine and stir well for 1-2 mins as it bubbles up. Tip half of the batch of tomato sauce into the pan and stir again. Add a little water (up to 150ml) to achieve a thick, pouring consistency. Place the chicken into the sauce and scatter with the olives. Cover, and bake for around 30-40 minutes, then uncover and cook for 15-20 mins more to allow the chicken to crisp up. Spoon off any fat that has risen to the surface, scatter with parsley and serve with rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potato or polenta.