Pollo alla cacciatora
The traditional Italian hunters chicken dish comes in a great number of varieties, but I prefer the one with olives, capers and anchovies.
I guess everybody interested in Italian cooking has got their own recipe for pollo alla cacciatore, and from what I have see and tasted this traditional dish comes in a great number of varieties. Some add pancetta and beans, others include carrots and celery sticks, and some substitute white wine for red Chianti.
My version is based on capers and anchovies, and I honestly thought those two ingredients were the common denominator for all “alla cacciatora” preparations, though this seems to be a huge mistake. Italian hunters through the ages have apparently been just as independent and self-possessed as other professionals, and they prepare their chicken or rabbit as they see fit. I am just glad that one of them decided to give their chicken a touch of flower buds and preserved fish for the intensive salt and umami taste works wonders with an otherwise bland chicken.
1 chicken cut up in 6 pieces
1 stick of fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1 organic lemon (juice and peel)
6 tbsp olive oil
200 ml white wine (or chicken broth)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp capers
10 halved black olives
Chop garlic and rosemary finely and mix with grated lemon skin, salt and pepper.
Stir in half the olive oil and marinade the chicken pieces for an hour.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces till they are crisp and golden.
Mix tomato paste, white wine and lemon juice, and pour it over the chicken in the pan.
Leave the dish to cook for 30 minutes
Add olives, capers and anchovies, and cook for another 15-30 minutes, until the chicken is fully done.
Sprinkle the hunter’s chicken with parsley before serving.
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