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Hunter's Chicken Stew

1 oz dried wild mushrooms

2 cups warm water

6 to 7 pound free-range Heritage chicken, cut in pieces, skin removed

pinch each sea salt & coarse ground black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

3 large onions, thickly sliced

2 large green peppers, cut into chunks

7 to 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, trimmed & cut into bite size pieces

1 cup dry white wine or chicken stock

7 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled & chopped or 2 28oz cans plum tomatoes

2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped or 1/2 tsp dried

4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp dried

4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped or 1 tsp dried

1. Soak dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Strain & reserve liquid from mushrooms. Rinse mushrooms and chop. Set aside.                                                                                         2. Pat chicken dry and season with sea salt & pepper.                                                                    3. Brown chicken pieces in olive oil, in large cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Remove chicken when browned and set aside.                                                                                                               4. Using same pan, return to heat. Add onion, garlic & hot pepper flakes, cook gently until onions are wilted. Add green pepper and fresh mushrooms, cook for an additional 5 minutes.                            5. Add wine, reserved mushroom liquid, dried mushrooms, stir well & add chicken.                          6. Cook uncovered, until liquid has reduced by half. Add tomatoes, cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.                                                                                                                                7. If sauce is too thin, remove chicken and mushrooms and continue cooking until desired consistency. Add herbs, return chicken and mushrooms. Serve over rice with some sauteed greens.

Serves 12.