• Smoky Chicken Cacciatore (slow cooker recipe)

    This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found in Every Day with Rachel Ray from her recent Italian issue. The original recipe is Smoky Skillet Cacciatore. I would have just cooked it the way it was written but I was worried it was going to get hot yesterday and didn’t want to turn the oven on and I didn’t have all the ingredients needed. It turned out really good. I was planning on freezing the leftovers but there wasn’t any. That’s proof that what you have cooked for your family is delicious, right?
    2 lbs chicken legs
    salt and pepper
    2 tbsp evoo
    4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
    a big handful of cremini mushrooms
    half of a big, pretty, delicious walla walla onion thinly sliced
    1 bell pepper sliced into strips (the recipe called 1 cubanelle pepper and one small fresno chile pepper)

    3-4 cloves garlic
    1 small jar tomato paste (the recipe called for 1 tbsp tomato paste)
    2 14.5 oz jars fire roasted diced tomatoes (I substituted one jar of regular diced tomatoes because I didn’t have two jars fire roasted)
    1/3 cup dry white or red wine (I used Menage a Trois red wine)
    1/2 cup chicken stock (I used quite a bit more because I wanted to finish off the carton)
    1 tbsp smoked paprika from Trader Jo’s (the recipe didn’t call for it so it’s your choice to add it or not) (if you don’t have this in your cabinet you should) it is so good.
    I always start off by cutting up my veggies and whatever else needs preparation. As you cut your veggies for this go ahead and throw them in the slow cooker. Then I go into the actual preparation of my dish. Step 1 Rinse and pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet, heat the EVOO over medium high heat until rippling. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker, it can lay directly on top of the onions, peppers and mushrooms. Step 2 Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until the fat renders, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a bowl lined with paper towels and let some of the fat run off. Then toss the bacon on top of the chicken. Step 3 Add all of the other ingredients to the slow cooker and give it all a little stir just to mix it up a bit. It doesn’t have to be completely mixed. Turn the slow cooker to low and allow it to cook for around 8 hours. I served our chicken with some organic pasta.
    Here’s a tip for all of you out there who aren’t used to cooking with hot peppers. Make sure what you’re buying is in fact sweet and not hot!  I knew I would be cooking this for my kids so I tried to leave out any peppers that I thought would be hot. Oops, the pretty little yellow pepper that I picked up that was labeled sweet yellow pepper was HOT!!!! I didn’t realize it until I had cut it up and added it to the pot and then touched my mouth. I had to go in and pull as many pieces of it out of the pot as I could. I then washed my hands thoroughly. Later on in the day I finally got the chance to take a shower and somehow that pepper heat had absorbed into my pores. While I was in the shower my face heated up and it burned!!! Lesson learned!

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