Como Inn’s Chicken Cacciatore

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It’s a cold, wet, weekday afternoon and I’m sitting down with Augie Sanchez, who for 44-years was chef of Chicago’s Como Inn restaurant, the Marchetti family classic operated on Milwaukee Avenue from 1924 until it closed in 2001. Augie has stepped away from a Marchetti-family birthday party to share a few reader-requested recipes. “Let me see…” he begins, reaching back into the archive he keeps in his head, “You fry up some chicken…” And so it goes. He dictates the recipes in a loose, “pinch of this, a little of that,” fashion. But with time, testing, and input from Augie’s son Ricky, now head chef at Galleria Marchetti, we conjured this Augie-approved rendition of Como Inn’s Chicken Cacciatore, requested by reader Susie K.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Flour for dredging chicken
  • 2, 2-lb chickens, cut in pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups canned peeled Italian plum tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dredge chicken pieces in flour. Heat olive oil in large frying pan, add chicken. Brown on all sides. Remove chicken to ovenable baking dish and keep warm (slow bake) in low-oven at 325 degrees.
  2. Add onion, garlic, rosemary and oregano to saute pan. Saute until soft. Add mushrooms. Saute until they release moisture. Add wine. Stir occasionally. After a few minutes, add chicken stock.
  3. In separate pan, make a roux with 1 Tbsp butter and one-half cup flour. Pour liquid from veg. mixture into roux to make thickened sauce.
  4. Scrape sauce back into original saute pan, combining with vegetables. Stir. Add mashed tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add reserved chicken to pan. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes until tomato flavors deepen, sauce flavors meld and chicken is tender and cooked through.

One thought on “Como Inn’s Chicken Cacciatore

  1. THIS IS GREAT, I REMEMBER IT WELL……BUT WHAT I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HAVE IS COMO INN’S RECIPE FOR THEIR RIGATONI BOLOGNESE…..NO ONE, NO ONE MAKES IT LIKE THEY DID. I WOULD BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. I ARE THERE FOR YEARS AND IT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITES ALONG WITH THE CACCIATORE.

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