The secret ingredient which makes this cacciatore stand out is pancetta, an Italian bacon. Once a specialty deli item, it is now readily available at most major supermarkets. The pancetta gives the sauce richness and body. I've also found that fresh basil leaves and baby portobello mushrooms make it my own. It is kid-friendly and fills the house with a wonderful aroma.

SURFWENCH
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the pancetta until it begins to turn dark brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the pancetta pieces from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.

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  • Mix the flour, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes in a shallow bowl.

  • Press the chicken thighs into the flour mixture, tapping off any loose flour.

  • Brown the chicken thighs in the skillet with the oil and pancetta drippings, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken thighs to a platter and keep warm.

  • Cook and stir the green bell pepper, sweet onion, and portobello mushrooms in the same skillet until the onion turns translucent, about 8 minutes.

  • Stir the basil, garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes with their juice, and red wine into the sauce.

  • Bring the sauce to a boil, and return the chicken and pancetta to the sauce. If sauce does not almost cover the chicken pieces, mix in more dry red wine.

  • Reduce heat to low, and simmer the chicken and sauce until the chicken thighs are tender and no longer pink inside, 35 to 50 minutes.

  • If you prefer a thicker sauce, whisk cornstarch with water and 1 tablespoon of the sauce, and stir the mixture into the skillet until thickened.

  • About 15 minutes before serving time, bring a large pot of lightly salted water and bring to a boil.

  • Stir in the rigatoni and return to a boil. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through but is still slightly firm, about 13 minutes; drain.

  • To serve, transfer the cooked rigatoni to a large platter and top with the chicken thighs.

  • Generously ladle sauce over the chicken and pasta, and sprinkle the dish with Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Serve any extra sauce on the side.

Nutrition Facts

654 calories; 21.1 g total fat; 72 mg cholesterol; 505 mg sodium. 77.1 g carbohydrates; 35.6 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (29)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/06/2012
This was excellent! Rustic Italian comfort food. I backed off the crushed red pepper only using about 1 teaspoon and still got a nice little bite. I removed the skin from the chicken thighs which is what we prefer and I seasoned it with salt and pepper on each side while sauteing. Used 2 packages of thighs which gave me 8 pieces. Otherwise followed as written. You can sub any kind of pasta you've got in the pantry. Really good! Read More
(15)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/28/2014
Next time I would follow the advice to use boneless skinless chicken and cut it up into small pieces. The flavor was nice but it didn't seep into the chicken so the meat what somewhat plain. I would try it again as I said the sauce part was good. Read More
(2)
35 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/06/2012
This was excellent! Rustic Italian comfort food. I backed off the crushed red pepper only using about 1 teaspoon and still got a nice little bite. I removed the skin from the chicken thighs which is what we prefer and I seasoned it with salt and pepper on each side while sauteing. Used 2 packages of thighs which gave me 8 pieces. Otherwise followed as written. You can sub any kind of pasta you've got in the pantry. Really good! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
08/06/2012
This was excellent! Rustic Italian comfort food. I backed off the crushed red pepper only using about 1 teaspoon and still got a nice little bite. I removed the skin from the chicken thighs which is what we prefer and I seasoned it with salt and pepper on each side while sauteing. Used 2 packages of thighs which gave me 8 pieces. Otherwise followed as written. You can sub any kind of pasta you've got in the pantry. Really good! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
08/11/2012
We really enjoyed this! I did add more garlic we do love our garlic. Instead of red pepper flakes I used some cayenne pepper didn't measure it just eyeballed it. Didn't want to chance my daughter getting one of the red peppers and refusing to eat anymore. I ended up using 8 thighs instead of the 6 and kept all the other ingredients in the same amount. Used penne pasta and served this with some crusty french bread. Yum! Thanks for the recipe! Read More
(9)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/30/2013
Excellent recipe. I followed the recipe with the exception of adding quite a bit more red wine. WE didn't need to thicken the sauce as it was perfect as is. We served it over linguine and enjoyed every bite! Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2013
I made this last night for company. It was a hit and absolutely fabulous as written. I doubled the recipe and used boneless chicken thighs though. Breading the chicken and just browning it putting it back in with the sauce to cook made it so tender it melted in your mouth. Oh...I also didn't have but half the mushrooms on hand but still was fabulous. If I'd had the extra mushrooms I would've used them cause I love them. I prepped the veggies and put them in bowls prior to cooking because I had errands to run. It cut down on putting it all together at once. If it hadn't been my day off I would've prepped the veggies in the a.m. and left the cooking for when I got home. Still needs about an hour to cook it all. Worth the wait. I'm keeping this in my recipe box!! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2012
I've made two versions of this dish both off this website and I prefer this recipe. The biggest difference in this recipe is coating the chicken in flour before frying this really makes the entire meal taste better. Thank you for sharing! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 3 stars
03/27/2014
Next time I would follow the advice to use boneless skinless chicken and cut it up into small pieces. The flavor was nice but it didn't seep into the chicken so the meat what somewhat plain. I would try it again as I said the sauce part was good. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
05/09/2013
This is a great recipe wanna give it 5 stars except that i used the full TBSP of red pepper flakes and it was too spicy for the kids. Also I bought the pancetta just to try it. It is lovely very delicate and delicious but I think bacon would work well too at less than half the price and much more availability. This also has relatively little salt but still very flavorful. It was so delicious even with the full TBSP of red pepper! Tender flavorful wonderful dish. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/21/2015
Very good flavor but just a bit too spicy for my taste. I will make it again but I will definitely use less red pepper. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/20/2015
Made it for my boyfriend for valentine's day we both loved it. Will definitely be making it again... Often. Read More