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authentic chicken cacciatore recipe

Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe

Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe

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Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe
Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe

 

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

Chicken cacciatore is beautifully simple recipe that is ideal to serve for the family.

Once you have completed the necessary preparations, it can mind its own business bubbling away on the stove for a while. This dish is perfect for when you need an easy weeknight dinner and you can even help the kids with their homework while it’s cooking.

There are a lot of variations you can do to this basic recipe, so feel free to be creative. There is even some debate which version is the most original as recipes usually vary from family to family. Perhaps, you will even invent your own version after trying this one out.

WHAT EXACTLY IS CHICKEN CACCIATORE?

If we analyse the term “cacciatore”, the word means “hunter” in Italian. So if you ever spot the phrase alla cacciatore on a menu, it refers to the rustic “hunter-style” that you will also find in this dish.

To break it down, chicken cacciatore is a casserole with pieces of chicken in a tomato sauce, served with pasta. For my chicken cacciatore, I have used chicken thighs. However, you can any cut of chicken you prefer.

Remember to brown the chicken in the pan first before adding the liquids. That way you avoid the skin being pale and flabby after the cooking process.

As it is a casserole, the skin will not be crispy unless you brown it first. Remove the chicken after frying, turn down the heat and then fry the onions and garlic.

Be careful not to burn it because garlic becomes bitter when it browns. Add the white wine and let the alcohol sizzle away before adding the tomatoes and chicken stock.

A general tip here is to never throw leftover white wine away. If there is a bit left then cork up the bottle and stick it in the fridge.

You can use it for cooking for at least a couple of weeks. Now comes the best bit.

Put the chicken back into the pan and let it simmer at low heat until cooked. That should take you about 45 minutes, in which you can prepare the sides.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, (or 6 cloves)
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 10 oz (300g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tablespoons each freshly chopped parsley and basil plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 150 ml red wine
    • 28 oz (820g) crushed tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 7 oz (200g) Roma tomatoes, halved
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
    • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy cast iron skillet. Sear chicken on both sides until golden, about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
    • Add remaining oil to the pan. Sauté the onion until transparent, about 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the peppers, carrot, mushrooms and herbs; cook for 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
      • Pour in the wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until wine is reduced, about 2 minutes.
      • Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Roma tomatoes and chill flakes. Season with salt and pepper to your tastes. Return chicken pieces to the skillet and continue to cook over stove top OR in the oven following the instructions below.

      FOR STOVE TOP:

      • Mix all of the ingredients together; cover with lid, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer (while stirring occasionally) for 40 minutes or until the meat is falling off the bone. Add in the olives, allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

      FOR THE OVEN:

      • Transfer the covered skillet to a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) and cook for 50 minutes. Remove the lid, add in the olives and cook for an additional 20 minutes until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone, and the sauce has reduced.

        NOTES

        If the sauce is too thin for your liking, add 2 tablespoons of extra tomato paste while it’s simmering to thicken.

        TO MAKE AHEAD:This chicken cacciatore can be made up to 1 day ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated. Rewarm over low-medium heat.
         TO FREEZE:Transfer the cooled cacciatore into an air tight container and transfer to the freezer. The day of serving, thaw it out in the morning and bring to room temperature. Transfer to a skillet / pan and reheat over low-medium heat until warmed through.
        Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe
        Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe

        NUTRITION

        Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 1157mg | Fiber5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3880IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 4mg

       

    WHAT TO SERVE WITH IT

    Any good stew needs a good base to go with it and the chicken cacciatore is no different. I chose to serve mine with buttered pasta, which is also one of the most common sides.

    If you toss the cooked pasta with a little butter it doesn’t get so sticky. I find that this works better than tossing the pasta with olive oil.

    If you get bored during those 45 minutes of simmering, you can try to make your own pasta. It’s quite simple but a couple of helping hands when rolling out the pasta dough is essential!

    If, on the other hand you are not so keen on pasta, there are plenty of alternatives. You can enjoy the chicken cacciatore with boiled rice, potatoes or potato mash, for example.

    You can also try making rosemary roast potatoes or cheesy garlic bread as a side dish.  If you are looking for a healthier alternative, you can opt for lentils or quinoa.

    Some Italians serve chicken cacciatore simply with a good loaf of rustic bread. However, to keep things Italian, why not try my pesto stuffed bread?

    This is also helpful if you are feeding more people. This way it’s a more complete dish. If you feel like you are missing something green on the plate, I suggest you to make a simple salad to go with it.

STORAGE

The chicken cacciatore can easily be stored in the fridge until the next day, allowing the flavours to develop. Perfect for an easy lunch, simply boil some pasta and heat the stew gently.

If you don’t have a large family to feed or maybe just made a big batch, the recipe freezes well.

Divide the chicken cacciatore up into portions and freeze them and you will always have a tasty and healthy ready-made meal waiting for you when you need it. It will easily last about two to three months in the freezer.

Authentic Italian Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Around these parts, we often talk about the food of the poor. However, we don’t mean it in a disrespectful way, but we are rather in awe of how some of the best dishes were born because people had to get creative and use whatever they found in their kitchen.

That is an art in itself too, because it’s not enough to take 10 random ingredients, throw them in a pot and hope the result will be edible, but it’s about finding the right balance…just like this authentic Italian chicken cacciatore recipe.

The chicken cacciatore is a traditional Tuscan recipe, which is very popular across Italy, especially in the northern parts of the country where another popular recipe hails from, minestrone. I

t’s a simple recipe, but incredibly tasty, thanks to ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, and red wine, which enhance the flavor of the chicken.

The origins of this authentic Italian chicken cacciatore recipe, once again are to be found among poor people, using chicken bred by farmers.

The dish is so popular that it even has its own national day on the 15th of October. “Cacciatore” actually means “hunter” in Italian and some say that the first cacciatore dish didn’t even have chicken, but rabbit meat. However, in true Tuscan style, we are going with the authentic one.

Ingredients

  • 1chicken
  • 3stalks of celery
  • 1sprig of rosemary
  • 1 cupof red wine
  • 400 gpeeled tomatoes
  • 1onion
  • 1 clovegarlic
  • 2carrots
  • 1bunch of parsley
  • ½ cupof extra virgin oil
  • black pepper as needed
  • salt as needed

 

Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe
Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe

 

Instructions

  • First, clean the chicken thoroughly and cut it into pieces. Don’t peel off the skin, as it will give it more flavor.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken pieces on both sides for about 10 minutes, until golden.
  • At this point, add the finely chopped onions, garlic, the chopped carrots and celery, with a pinch of salt, pepper and rosemary, and leave it all in a sauté for another 5 minutes.
  • red wine over the chicken and let it evaporate.” />
    When the mix gets a nice color, pour red wine over the chicken and let it evaporate.
  • Then add the tomatoes, cover with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for 30 minutes (or until the chicken is well cooked and soft) during which, if the chicken becomes dry, add a bit of water or broth.
  • Once cooked, add the chopped parsley and serve the chicken with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Note

  • When you fry the chicken, to make it lighter, you can remove from the pan the grease spilled from the skin. After adding the tomatoes in the pan, you can also add a sprig of thyme and a little nutmeg to give it an extra touch of flavor.

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