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Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore



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This is an easy to make and authentic Italian dish that your friends and family will love. With its easy to find ingredients and simple to follow recipe, anyone can master this Chicken Cacciatore dish.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 Teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • One 4 pound chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • One 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes
  • 1/3 Cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 Cup fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Servings4

Calories Per Serving885

Folate equivalent (total)84µg21%

Riboflavin (B2)0.5mg28.7%


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.


Preparation

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine plum tomatoes, mushrooms, and onion in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and vinegar toss to blend. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread vegetable mixture in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until onion slices are golden brown and all vegetables are tender, stirring frequently, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Step 2

Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to bowl. Add wine to skillet and boil until wine is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 1 minute. Stir in canned tomatoes with juice, then broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Return chicken to sauce in skillet. Place skillet in oven and roast uncovered until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with knife, about 25 minutes. Remove skillet from oven. Stir in roasted vegetables, remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, half of basil, and half of capers. Simmer over medium heat until vegetables are heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Place pasta in large shallow bowl. Top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle remaining basil and capers over.


Ingredients

  • 2 broiler chickens (about 2 ½ pounds each, preferably free range)
  • salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • One 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with liquid, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably the Sicilian or Greek type dried on the branch, crumbled
  • 2 cups sliced white or shiitake mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 each, red and yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 2 cups total)

Cookbook


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour for coating
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Shake the chicken pieces in flour until coated. Heat the oil in a large skillet (one that has a cover/lid). Fry the chicken pieces until they are browned on both sides. Remove from skillet.

Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper to the skillet and saute until the onion is slightly browned. Return the chicken to the skillet and add the tomatoes, oregano and wine. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes over medium low heat.

Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 more minutes.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole roasting chicken, cut in quarters
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat add chicken and cook until browned on the outside. Remove to a bowl to capture the juices.

Stir in onions and mushrooms cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, oregano, tomato sauce, and water.

Place chicken pieces and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl on top of the cooked vegetables. Add more salt and pepper. Place pepper slices on top of the chicken.


Preparation

Place rack at center oven and preheat to 350˚F.

In a small pot over medium heat, simmer the dried mushrooms and the stock to reconstitute the mushrooms and flavor the stock.

In a large Dutch oven with a lid, heat 3 tablespoons oil, 3 turns of the pan. Add 4 pieces of chicken at a time, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown chicken skin-side down, then turn, browning each batch about 8 minutes. Remove and drain off excess fat, leaving an even layer about equal to the original layer but now it will be a mix of chicken fat and olive oil. Add the pancetta and stir 2 minutes, then add the carrot, celery, onion, leek, garlic, chili paste or chilies, herb bundle and bay, cook to soften 8 minutes more, add in juniper and then tomato paste, stir a minute, add wine, add tomatoes and break them up, add passata and the mushrooms and stock, stir to combine, then nest the chicken carefully into the pot, bring to a boil, cover and place in oven for 1 hour.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta the last 10-15 minutes of the chicken’s roasting time.

When the chicken comes out, transfer the meat to a platter and cover with a little foil. Remove the herb bundle and bay from the sauce and keep at a simmer, whisking to thicken and combine.

Salt boiling water and cook pasta 1-2 minutes shy of package directions, reserving a cup of the cooking water just before draining. Combine pasta with half the sauce, cooking water, about 1 cup of cheese, adding more sauce to liking.

Serve chicken topped with a bit more sauce alongside pasta with a sprinkle of parsley, and pass more cheese at table.


What Is It

It’s an incredibly simple recipe consisting of chicken and mirepoix that is cooked and braised in a simple tomato broth with herbs. Cacciatore translates from Italian to English as “hunter.”

Cacciatore is a style of cooking, so hunter-style would include certain ingredients such as onions, herbs, and tomatoes. Again, it’s really simple.

Italy, being one of the founding countries of modern-day cookery wasn’t an overly rich country in the 17 and 1800’s. A lot of the classic Italian foods you’ll hear about and eat today are simple peasant foods.

This is to the Italians as Chicken Cassoulet is to the French.

These recipes are simple, they’re delicious and mostly were comprised of what was leftover or readily available. You’ll see all sorts of variations these days that have tons of different herbs, and olives, and random ingredients in them.

In no way am I saying these are bad additions, but they just don’t reflect the classic nature of it. Italian chicken cacciatore uses few ingredients and either uses chicken or rabbit. Yup, I said rabbit in addition to readily available.


So what is chicken cacciatore and where did it originate from?

It is an authentic Italian hunter style chicken stew, which originally was made with whatever the peasants would hunt that day: pheasant, rabbit, wild stuff, you name it! But nowadays it is more commonly made with chicken, or hen and some type of wild mushrooms, in a wine tomato sauce with herbs and aromatics.


Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Working in batches, cook chicken until browned, 10 to 12 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Add the rosemary, garlic, bay leaf, carrot, bell pepper, and onion to skillet and cook until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  2. Return chicken to the skillet and add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and stir in olives, capers, and parsley. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and serve with the sauce spooned over the top.

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