Pollo alla Cacciatora - Hunter's Chicken


Nigella Lawson was on the tele the other night, she was making ‘Pollo Alla Cacciatora’ (Hunter’s Chicken). I’ve never made it before, and last night I felt the need to have a go at it.

However, I looked into several versions of this recipe on the net and also looked at Jamie Oliver’s version he has in his book 'Jamie's Italy'.


Nigella’s sounded good and I like the fact that she added a can of cannellini beans to it. But as the recipe was from her ‘Nigella Express’ book it was therefore, was made very quickly. Obviously, this is the point of the book and programme, Nigella Express. Please don’t get me wrong, she makes loads of great recipes and I am a fan of her ‘Quick Chilli’ since I made it.
But I wanted the chicken to take on all the lovely flavours and I can’t see how it could taste as nice as it could do when it takes (in her own words) under half an hour to be on the table. Jamie Oliver’s recipe sounded better, as in the fact that it took an hour and a half in the oven.


For the marinade: 
500g skinless and boneless chicken – cut into big cubes. I used 350g breast and also added 2 boneless thighs.


Mix together the following:4 bay leaves
A glug of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic – chopped finely
100ml Marsala wine if you don’t have any use red wine instead
1 sprig of rosemary

Add the chicken and the rosemary sprig to the mixture. Leave to marinade for an hour or over night if you have time.


What else you need:

1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
2 celery sticks – diced
1 large onion – sliced
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 carrot – cut into strips
2x400g good quality tinned plumb tomatoes
1 sprig of rosemary – very finely chopped
6 rashers of streaky bacon if you can’t get pancetta
salt and pepper - to taste
125ml red wine (Chianti)
small dish of flour
1x400ml can of cannellini beans



How to do it:In a large skillet fry the bacon until it’s on the way to getting nice and brown you shouldn't’ need any oil to do this).

Remove the bacon and set aside. Now in the same pan (without washing it) as you want all the nice sticky bits from the bacon. Saute the onions until they are soft, but not coloured.
Now add the carrots, celery, garlic and chopped rosemary. Give it a good season with salt and pepper.



Remove the chicken from the marinade, but make sure you keep it but discard the rosemary and the bay leaves.

Dip each piece of chicken into the flour.


Now, using a separate frying pan:
Fry the chicken until it is starting to brown – keep stirring for a few minutes.
Then add the chicken to the pan with the reserved marinade and the wine.

Add the vegetables and olives, along with one of the cans of tomatoes. You can now add the other can, but I don’t think you will want the juice from that can – just the tomatoes.
Put a lid on – or cover with foil and cook on a low heat for about 1 hour.

You will have to keep giving it a stir though! Now add the cannellini beans and cook for another half hour – or until the chicken is cooked through and really tender.

We think that this was such a nice meal. I know you can't tell how tasty it was from pictures but if you are ever stuck for something to cook - give this a go.

It would be so easy to do if you have anyone coming for dinner, apart from giving it the occasional stir, it looks after it’s self!


9 comments

  1. Looks lovely Jan. I'm sure it tasted good too, with all of those lovely ingredients having plenty of time to cook.
    Which bread recipe did you use -because that bread looks really good?

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  2. Chicken Cacciatora is an Italian classic and I'm glad to took the time to make it well, rather than express.

    I'm sure the natives ate the whole damn thing up!

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  3. Looks like a lovely meal to me, esp. in a short time! And crusty bread is always a hit on the side!

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  4. I love chicken Cacciatora,reminds me my childhood when I dine out with my parents on trattorias. Looks delicious ummy blog

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  5. What a lovely, rustic autumn/winter warmer!

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  6. Ive been meaning to make this. Now Autumn is here think I will give it a go

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  7. There seem to be countless ways to make this classic, and I've found I seem to love them all. This looks mouth watering.

    And as for bread, I'm with you on that. I have a chunk of a baguette just about every night, lol!

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  8. With those ingredients I think you were right to go for the longer cooking time. It sounds very tasty.

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  9. Sounds and looks delicious Jan and so does that lovely bread!!! I agree with you about the time needed to make a really tasty cacciatore. Longer is better.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.
Cheers
Jan

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