2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (6 to 8)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 pounds fresh very ripe tomatoes (about 5 medium)
3/4 cup chicken broth
6 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
The chicken cacciatore can be made up to 1 day ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated. Rewarm over medium-low heat, moistening with a bit more chicken broth or water, as needed. Stir in the parsley and basil just before serving. Recrisp the pancetta in a skillet over medium-low heat.
Heat a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil to the pan. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook the chicken until it is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the pancetta to the same pan. Sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a small bowl.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté until they become tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and onion and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, stirring to scrape up browned bits on bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, chicken stock, and olives. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Return the chicken and its accumulated juices to the pan, nestling the chicken into the sauce. Gently simmer uncovered until the tomatoes melt into the sauce and the sauce thickens slightly, about 40 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and basil.
Spoon the chicken and sauce onto plates. Sprinkle with the reserved sautéed pancetta and Parmesan cheese and serve.