Chicken Cacciatore, like it’s 1979

I might be wrong but in my mind Cacciatore was a dinner party showpiece in latter days. Am I wrong? Either way, last night I had a bash at this Italian hunter’s stew, reading a few recipes, deciding I could do it on my own without their help. You know. The usual.

There’s talk of snow in the air here in Britain, opposite ends of the temperature spectrum to my homeland who have been boiling and snapping, dodging bush fires and dust storms. Hope you are all ok over there, Aussie chums.

Righty ho, here’s cacciatore (catch-a-tory, in a nice Australian accent):

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I made a bloody massive pot of the stuff so adjust amounts depending on what you fancy.

Mixed chicken pieces, happy and organic if you can manage (I used 4 thighs and 4 legs, from a clearly mutant chicken)
Glass of white wine cause we are doing the northern Italy version. If you’re a dirty southerner, use red
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Good dessertspoon of tomato paste
Couple sprigs of rosemary
2 bay leaves
Seasoning
White wine vinegar
Bit of olive oil
Garlic, minced – I used 5 cloves
2 brown onions, roughly sliced
Bout a cup of halved, seeded olives, I used black
4 anchovies

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I roughly chopped my onions thusly, and put them to one side.

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In fact, I also halved the olives and peeled the garlic, and got the herbs out. Well professional.

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Brown off your chook pieces in a couple of batches, in the olive oil and over a good high heat. Make sure they’re nice and golden, as demonstrated. The oil will spit and you’ll probably get a few splats on your hands and it’ll hurt. I put my iPad in mortal danger, taking this photo. You can thank me later.

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Turn the heat down and chuck in the anchovies, mashing them up with your spoon. They’ll just add some salty piquancy rather than any fishy taste, so fear not. Add your onions for a few mins till they begin to soften. Add your garlic, minced and cook for a minute. You just want to begin heating it, def don’t let it burn. Fools.

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Speaking of fools, please enjoy my failed efforts at tidily adding the tomato paste. Total blowout. I swore. Lots. Anyway, add some however you please. Hopefully yours won’t end up all over the oil and tea towels like mine did.

Stir through.

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Then add the wine, both tins of tomatoes, a generous dash (?splash) of white wine vinegar, seasoning and the herbs. Reduce this for ten mins or so, lid off.

That brown half-circle thing you can see to the left of picture is the seal from the wine. I didn’t spot it till I ate it, bout an hour later. Delicious.

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Add your chicken pieces, make sure they’re all swirled about in the reduced tomatoey mess, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, pop the lid on and cook for a further 40 minutes.

It’ll look like the above.

Fnar.

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We tried a new Brasilian BBQ place for lunch yesterday, when all this cooking shenanigan occurred. Fell in love with this sauce, so brought some home. It’ll end up in pretty much everything, I’d guess.

You can eat this stew with veg, or rice or the more traditional pasta. We went with rice. Whatever you fancy, begin to sort that at the appropriate time.

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Voila. Or Ecco, to be strictly Italian about it all.

Serve, on some kind of plate. Parsley is a nice finisher.

We’ve bucketloads left. I reckon this would feed 4 easily. Enjoy.

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4 thoughts on “Chicken Cacciatore, like it’s 1979

  1. Mel says:

    Are mushrooms considered a controversial addition?
    I haven’t had this dish in years, I may be motivated to have a go again soon

  2. narf77 says:

    I have never understood why chicken cacciatore is a “Hunters Stew”…there isn’t a lot of hunting to be done with a chook… stalking a chook fully bedecked in your camoflage gear with your high powered rifle would yield you a puff of feathers and a beak and that’s about all. (Glad you didn’t start your recipes stanza with a “G’Day” there šŸ˜‰ )… That Cabana KICK Malagueta sauce looks promising…the ingredient list looks delish and promises an Umami rush with the olives, the garlic, the anchovies and whatever is lingering in that flip top bottle at the back there…I would have to make do with an Aussie “regular” chook with only 2 legs and 2 wings but I figure that the “other bits” would make up for the dearth of duplicated limbs…Prep done TICK, you are starting to look like a chef there girl! Yotam Ottolenghi is rubbing off on you. “Cook your onions until they no longer look like something that slithered out of an acacia tree”. Now you are sounding like my dear old Nige with the anchovy quip… a career change in the making? I think that anything is delicious as long as you make a tasty enough sauce. I know that my savvy mum cooked us all sorts of things that we would have run screaming from the room had she not bathed them in a delicious drizzle of intrigue. I have probably eaten several meals of vacola bottle seals and pronounced them “Wunderbar!”.

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