Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Pollo alla Cacciatora

This 'hunter-style' chicken dish originally comes from Tuscany but is popular all over Italy. As with any classic dish, every family has their own way of making it but the variations are usually minimal, an extra ingredient here, a different cooking method there. When I see this dish abroad, it sometimes seems to veer so far from the original that it is almost unrecognisable.

The recipe below is a standard one; if you wish, you can add some pancetta or maybe a few mushrooms to it. Just don't get too carried away.

RECIPE - serves 4

1 chicken, jointed (or 8 pieces)
1 onion
2 carrots
3 sticks celery
1 clove garlic
1 glass red wine
a few sprigs of rosemary
400g tin chopped tomatoes
olive oil
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Finely chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic (or whizz together in a food processor for a few seconds). Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan (with lid) and add the vegetables. Cook over a low heat until soft, being careful not to let them brown. Remove to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan and brown the chicken pieces on all sides, over a high heat. When the pieces are golden brown, return the vegetables to the pan, add the rosemary and pour the wine in.

Let the wine bubble up for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and some salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer over a medium heat for about 30-40 mins, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Give everything a gentle stir from time to time so that it doesn't burn on the bottom and add a little water if it seems to be getting too dry.

When the chicken is ready, sprinkle the parsley over and serve with mashed potatoes or soft polenta.



  1. This is delicious and so simple! I made it for friends and everyone loved it.

    1. Glad you like it. It always seems to be a great crowd-pleaser!

  2. I love eating this in restaurants so now I've seen the recipe, I will have to try making it myself! I'll let you kinow how I get on...

    1. Glad you feel inspired - do have a go at making it, it's so easy yet so good.