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MARIO BATALI Chicken Cacciatore with Fennel and Porcinis

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Mario’s version of this chicken cacciatore blends the flavors of porcini mushrooms and fennel deliciously!

1/2 cup olive oil (divided)
1 whole chicken (rinsed and patted dry, cut into 8 pieces, 3 pounds)
4 ounces pancetta (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1 large onion (peeled and coarsely chopped)
1/2 head fennel (bulb coarsely chopped, fronds chopped and reserved)
1 pound Porcini mushrooms (cut in half)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
2 cups Mario’s Basic Tomato Sauce
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
pinch sugar
pinch red hot pepper flakes
1/2 cup parsley (chopped for garnish)
1 pinch fennel pollen (to garnish per serving)

In a Dutch oven, add 1/4 cup olive oil and heat over high heat until almost smoking. Season chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken skin-side down and sear until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Cook in batches, if necessary. Transfer to a plate. Remove excess oil from the pan.
Add the pancetta and cook until crisp and browned, about 5-7 minutes. Add the onion, fennel and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, sugar and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.
Return the chicken to the Dutch oven, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook another 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Serve on a platter with sauce and garnish with parsley, fennel fronds, and fennel pollen.
Helpful Tip: use dried porcini mushrooms if you can’t find fresh. Rehydrate about 1 ounce of the dried mushroom in hot water.

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