Chicken-Leg Cacciatore with Sweet Peppers, Fennel, and Green Olives


This recipe for delicious chicken-leg cacciatore is courtesy of chef Andrew Carmellini, and can be found in "Urban Italian."


  • 6 chicken legs with thighs

  • Brine

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt

  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian, on the branch

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 links fresh hot Italian sausage (about ¼ pound), sliced into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, very thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup white wine

  • 3 Roasted Peppers for Chicken Leg Cacciatore, yellow or red, cut into strips

  • 10 whole Italian canned tomatoes, preferably San Marzano (about one 28-ounce can)

  • ¾ cup pitted green olives (preferably marinated), halved

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Place chicken legs and thighs in a large bowl; add brine and toss to coat. Transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry.

  2. Preheat broiler and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  3. Season chicken with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, oregano, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place chicken on a broiler pan on the middle rack and broil until skin begins to crisp, about 2 1/2 minutes. Rotate pan and continue cooking until skin is crisp, about 2 1/2 minutes more.

  4. Transfer chicken to oven and bake until juices run clear, about 15 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add sausage and cook until fat is rendered, about 2 minutes. Add onion, fennel, and remaining salt. Cover pan and let cook until vegetables are just softened, about 3 minutes.

  6. Uncover and stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add roasted peppers and tomatoes; cook until tomatoes are broken down, vegetables have softened, and mixture is thickened, about 20 minutes.

  7. Add olives and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and add basil, parsley, and chicken; stir to coat. Serve immediately with generous portions of sauce poured over the chicken.

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