Pollo alla Cacciatora
(Italian hunter-style chicken)
Pollo alla cacciatora, or chicken cacciatore in English, is a simple dish that is popular not only in Italy but around the world. The word cacciatore means "hunter," and alla cacciatora means "hunter style."
The ingredients for chicken cacciatore vary wildly, but its essentials seem to be chicken, onions, tomatoes and wine. It is often made with rabbit, and many recipes call for mushrooms, both things an Italian hunter might come across in the woods.
4 to 6 servings
- Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 2 pounds
- Flour -- 1 cup
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- Pepper -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Garlic, minced -- 2 or 3 cloves
- Porcini or other mushrooms, chopped (optional) -- 2 cups
- White or red wine -- 1 cup
- Tomatoes, chopped -- 1 cup
- Water or chicken stock -- 2 cups
- Parsley, chopped -- 1/4 cup
- Fresh rosemary, chopped -- 2 teaspoons
- Thyme -- 1 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Toss the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess, and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high flame. Add a few chicken pieces at a time and brown them on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté for another 3 or 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms are wilted and cooked through.
- Stir in the wine and tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes until cooked down somewhat. Then stir in the water or stock, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with polenta or roasted potatoes.
Pollo alla Cacciatora Variations
- Coniglio alla Cacciatora: Use rabbit instead of chicken.
- Other Additions: Chopped bell peppers, chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped oregano, bay leaves, juniper berries, dried porcini mushrooms, black olives, capers, 3 or 4 chopped anchovies.
- Use boneless, skinless chicken breast for a lower fat version.