Thursday, July 21, 2016

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore or the Hunter's chicken stew is a classic Italian dish. 
Hearty and filling, I bet it made many family,  Italian or not,  quite happy.

There are many versions of this dish, some use capsicum, some mushroom , all cooked and lathered in tomato sauce. I found this particular recipe from an old Italian Recipe book at home. The use of anchovies fillet made it intriguing since I never use any fish as flavouring to my meat dishes. But then again, everything is possible in the kitchen so  I decided to give this version a try.  My oh my! It was fabulous! FF and I were eating it 2 days in a row and it tasted even better the next day!


1 whole chicken about 1 -1-5 kg, cut into serving pieces
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
8 cloves of garlic
2 lemons
1/3 cup Olive oil
1  tbsp. anchovies in oil chopped
2 tbsp. capers
75 g black olives
2 tbsp. tomato paste
300 ml water
4 bay leaves
1 can /400 g tomato sauce
300 ml white wine
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of chopped parsley

 1. Using a mortal and pestle, pound together 4 cloves of garlic, whole peppercorn,  1 tsp. coarse salt, rind of 1 lemon,  juice of 1 lemon , 1 sprig of rosemary and 3 tbsp. olive oil. This will be your marinade.
 2. Wash the chicken thoroughly. Pat dry and cut into serving pieces.  Dump marinade into the chicken pieces and toss until each piece is well coated in aromatic marinade.
 3. Transfer marinated chicken pieces in a close container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I put mine in the fridge overnight.
 3.  Transfer chicken pieces into a dry bowl, shaking off as much marinade as much as possible.

 4. Put the rest of the olive oil in a pan and heat under medium high. Brown chicken on all sides and transfer into a clean bowl.
 5. Into the same pan, saut√© 4 cloves of minced garlic until aromatic. Add chopped anchovies. Stir in tomato sauce.

6. Dissolve 2 tbsp. of  tomato paste in 300 ml of water. Add into the pan, bring to a boil. The rest of the recipe simply entails putting the rest of the ingredients into the pot.

7. Put the chicken pieces back into the pan. Add the olives, 1 sprig of rosemary,  bay leaves and white wine. Cover pan and cook chicken for 20-25 minutes . The stew will become oily from the chicken fat so spoon out excess oil.

8. Add in  the capers cook for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze 1 lemon juice over the dish, give it a good stir . I personally like the zesty kick of the  lemon but you can omit it if you don't like the lemony tang in your cacciatore.

Transfer into your serving bowl. Garnish with chopped parsley  and serve with your favourite pasta!

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