Monday, August 07, 2006

Pollo Alla Cacciatora (Hunter’s Chicken Stew)

Michael cooked up this lovely dish for dinner with only a little help from me. I varied the recipe slightly in that firstly I had bought chicken thigh fillets instead of pieces on the bone as the recipe called for as I always find these work well & you end up with a nicer result in the end. Also I didn’t have any Chianti on hand so rather than go out & buy a bottle I used something from my already plentiful wine collection, went with a Sangiovese in the end having no idea what to substitute the Chianti for. This seemed to work well & didn’t cause any disasters. The recipe comes from Jamie Oliver’s Italy & as usual with his recipes it was sensational! I have made this dish before from other recipes & this was definitely the best, I think the baking in the oven was what did it, the intensity of all of the flavours, combined with the chicken so tender it was falling apart made for a mouth watering feast. I seem to have got one part wrong though, according to Jamie it should have been I who cooked this after my man spent a hard day out in the countryside, oh well! And seeing as how it is still Winter we served this with a good size helping of mash rather than the suggested salads. Fantastico!

Pollo Alla Cacciatora (Hunter’s Chicken Stew)

Cacciatore means ‘hunter’, so this is obviously the type of food that a
hunter’s wife cooks for her fella when he gets home from a hard morning
spent in the countryside. This is also a great dish for big parties, as it
looks after itself in the oven.

1 x 2kg / 4lb chicken, jointed, or use the equivalent amount of chicken
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, peeled (1 crushed, 2 sliced)
½ a bottle of chianti
flour, for dusting
extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
a handful of green or black olives, stoned
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes

Season the chicken pieces with
salt and freshly ground black pepper and put them into a bowl. Add the bay
leaves and rosemary sprigs and the crushed clove of garlic and cover with the
wine. Leave to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the

Preheat your oven to 180c / 350F / gas 4. Drain the chicken,
reserving the marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust the chicken pieces
with flour and shake off any excess. Heat an ovenproof pan, add a splash of
olive oil, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over and put to one

Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic. Fry
gently until golden brown, then add the anchovies, olives, tomatoes (broken up
with a wooden spoon) and the chicken pieces with the reserved marinade. Bring to
the boil, cover with a lid or a double thickness layer of foil and bake in the
preheated oven for 1 ½ hours.

Skim off any oil that’s collect on top of
the sauce, then stir, taste and add a little salt and pepper if necessary.
Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs, and serve with a salad, or some
cannellini beans, and plenty of Chianti.


Pam said...

I love Jamie's Italy it's a great book and this recipe is a winner!

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, Chianti and Sangiovese are virtually the same thing: sangiovese refers to the grape and chianti the style. So that's a pretty intuitive substitution!

Looks delicious.

Ange said...

Thks, lucky guess on the wine then!

Andreea said...

isn't this the best recipe? i just posted on the same recipe on my food blog under 'recipes'

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, I lost Jammies book with it in.
I cooked it before my wedding in Tuscany and it's a winner.