Pollo Cacciatore – Hunter’s Chicken

1 Nov

How many ways can you make Chicken Cacciatore? Quite a lot if you go by the recipes that pop up if you do an internet search. I imagine that the most authentic recipes rely on very few ingredients if they were cooked out doors by the hunters over an open fire. But perhaps they were cooked indoors by the hunters’ wives for their return.  I imagine that when they went out hunting they were probably tracking wild boar or something that really offered a sporting challenge. I don’t think Chicken Hunting would provide much of an adrenalin rush to the boys out for a day of testosterone, alcohol and guns.

Pollo Cacciatore (3)

Enough wondering about hunters and authentic recipes, here’s my version which relies mostly on store cupboard ingredients (well, I did have to hunt out my smoked pimentón from the back of the cupboard so I think it counts).

Ingredients to feed 6 hungry hunters

  • 1 large chicken jointed (I jointed mine into 14 pieces – 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, each breast cut in two, the rest of the carcass into 4 – all with the bone in)
  • About 2 cups of your favourite homemade tomato sauce or use tinned tomatoes
  • A tablespoon of tomato purée
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • An onion peeled, halved and cut into medium slices
  • About half a cup of olives
  • A large glass of red wine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A teaspoon of smoked pimentón or paprika
  • A red pepper thinly sliced
  • About 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon cut into small pieces (or use lardons)
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • Olive oil for frying

Start by heating a few tablespoons of oil in a large pan and (in batches) brown the chicken pieces and set aside. Add more oil if necessary. In the same pan gently fry the peppers, garlic and onions until soft then add the bacon and fry (on a higher heat) until the bacon starts to crisp.

Pollo Cacciatore (1)

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, wine, rosemary, pimentón and seasoning and bring it up to a bubble. Add the wine, olives, chicken and rosemary and cover. Cook gently on the stove top for about an hour or in the oven on low for a couple of hours. Check every so often and if the sauce is starting to dry out, add a splash of water.

When ready to serve, cook for a few minutes on the hob to thicken up the sauce if necessary and serve with mashed potatoes or rice. Tastes even better if made the day before. Any leftovers are wonderful with pasta. And a little glass of that red wine…

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52 Responses to “Pollo Cacciatore – Hunter’s Chicken”

  1. Mad Dog November 1, 2013 at 17:47 #

    Excellent – I suspect it’s also know as hungry builder’s chicken in your house 😉

  2. idiosyncratic eye November 1, 2013 at 18:17 #

    I do wonder too why he (presumably) had to all go all the way into the woods or the hills for a chicken. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 20:19 #

      Maybe it was a wild chicken!

      • idiosyncratic eye November 1, 2013 at 21:08 #

        Now this is becoming a hunting/fishing story! 😉

      • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 21:50 #

        All we need is some shooting and we have all three!

  3. Promenade Claire November 1, 2013 at 18:18 #

    hunting in the cupboards counts – good to see how well you eat midst building work, I like your priorities 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 20:20 #

      And I had to stand on a chair, so it was an adrenalin filled hunt!

  4. Food,Photography & France November 1, 2013 at 18:32 #

    I just found out that I’d run out of smoked pimenton – got to restock.

  5. narf77 November 1, 2013 at 19:18 #

    My guess is that this is a recipe that was conjoured up by a most inventive hunters wife when they were faced with a supermarket bag of chicken that had been blown to “mince” by the hunters equivalent of a blunderbuss…they DO tend to go overboard when hunting don’t they? ;). Here’s to the inventive hunters wives of the world!

    • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 20:30 #

      Or a hunter’s wife who was sick of preparing dinner only for it to dry out – she cunningly prepared this and kept adding a slosh of wine to the pot and another to her glass while she waited for him to come home. And then she sent narf77 the bottle for her wine bottle garden!

  6. spicegirlfla November 1, 2013 at 20:10 #

    When I was reading through the list of ingredients, I had to smile….is that glass of red wine for the cook or to put in the dish? Maybe it should read as 2 glasses of red wine….now that’s how I like to cook!!

    • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 20:31 #

      I need to amend and make it 2 glasses – one for the pot and one for the cook. I do believe it’s illegal to cook without a glass of wine in your hand 😉

  7. dotdos November 1, 2013 at 20:43 #

    Debe estar delicioso 🙂

  8. Amanda November 1, 2013 at 20:54 #

    Sounds like some good comfort food. I looooove smoked pimenton. It makes everything taste better. I love the provenance of this dish! Thanks.

    • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 21:49 #

      I am using smoked pimentón on pretty much everything right now – such a great flavour 🙂

  9. Our Growing Paynes November 1, 2013 at 21:04 #

    It took me an hour and a half to catch a chicken with a friend once. It was an abandoned or wild chicken and she kept crossing the road to our house every morning. Funnily enough she did look both ways. I kid you not. This looks delicious.

    • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 21:49 #

      Am laughing at this – bless her. Hope she didn’t end up straight in the pot after all that effort to cross the road 🙂

      • Our Growing Paynes November 1, 2013 at 22:11 #

        My friend took her home to roost but she’s since passed away. She was a tough cookie!

      • Chica Andaluza November 1, 2013 at 22:52 #

        Ah, sounds like she had a good life though!

      • Our Growing Paynes November 1, 2013 at 22:53 #

        She was a character. 🙂

  10. Michelle November 2, 2013 at 01:36 #

    It can take a while to catch a chicken, when they get out of the pen! Looks delicious.

  11. Eha November 2, 2013 at 03:56 #

    [smiling] When I first got married I don’t think I had ever seen the inside of a kitchen so had to go onto a fast learning curve! Husband dear did not fancy ‘plain’ roasted chicken, so a simpler variant than yours was my first presentable chicken dish! Still cook it sometimes but have to learn to use olives more: lovely recipe and I only cook when two glasses of wine are in the offing: no way will I share mine!!

    • Chica Andaluza November 2, 2013 at 11:58 #

      I remember years ago my french teacher at secondary school telling us a story of the first time she cooked roast chicken for her English husband ad forgot to remove the giblets (which were in a separate plastic bag inside the cavity of the bird)! I think a lot of people start cooking with chicken recipes 🙂

  12. Tandy | Lavender and Lime November 2, 2013 at 07:45 #

    I think the olives really make this dish!

    • Chica Andaluza November 2, 2013 at 11:59 #

      It’s like a little surprise when you bite into an olive!

  13. TheDorsetFinca November 2, 2013 at 09:04 #

    This is so strange, I was looking at a recipe for this dish only yesterday… and was undecided about whether it should be tonight’s supper. I think you have made my mind up for me – yum! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza November 2, 2013 at 11:59 #

      Ooh, hope you make it – so easy, I left mine in a slow oven and the kitchen was smelling so good!

  14. Lynda November 2, 2013 at 13:44 #

    Yummy! Will be going shopping soon! Thanks!

  15. 76sanfermo November 2, 2013 at 14:30 #

    I tasted an Italian recipe with plenty of sliced carrots instead of olives…
    Though I think yours is more”interesting” , I ‘d recommend this Italian dish!
    Ciao, Chica!

    • Chica Andaluza November 3, 2013 at 17:33 #

      Ooh – the carrots sound good. I’d love to see a really authentic recipe for this dish!

  16. PendleStitches November 2, 2013 at 18:56 #

    I’d completely forgotten about this dish…it’s years since I made it last. I think I need to rectify that situation.

    • Chica Andaluza November 4, 2013 at 00:05 #

      Oh do give it a go – such an easy one!

      • PendleStitches November 4, 2013 at 15:20 #

        I shall…it used to be a regular feature. I need to make it so again!

      • PendleStitches November 4, 2013 at 15:21 #

        I shall…it used to be a regular feature. I need to make it so again!

  17. Karen November 2, 2013 at 21:30 #

    Had to stop by and see if you two were safe after I heard about the storm…haven’t really seen the news while traveling. Looks like you both are as busy as ever with your new challenge but eating well. That is a good thing. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza November 4, 2013 at 00:02 #

      Thanks Karen – we made it through the storm with only a little damage to the garden we’re fixing up. All very wet, wild and windy last week and it’s still a bit nasty but we’re warm and safe 🙂

      • Karen November 4, 2013 at 00:32 #

        Thank goodness…so glad you didn’t have real problems.

      • Chica Andaluza November 4, 2013 at 09:46 #

        Thanks again Karen – everyone has been so lovely asking after us!

  18. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide November 3, 2013 at 22:17 #

    Authentic or not, it looks tasty!

  19. ChgoJohn November 4, 2013 at 10:07 #

    Chicken cacciatore is such a great dish, Tanya, and yours is a fantastic recipe. I like the idea of adding olives and pimenton but, above all else, it’s the rosemary. I love how it perfumes the kitchen while it cooks. As I’m sure you know, there are a number of dishes cooked alla cacciatore. Those hunters sure ate well!

    • Chica Andaluza November 4, 2013 at 18:45 #

      I agree about the rosemary. We planted a few herbs in Bexhill and the rosemary is already doing very well and is going into a lot of dishes!

  20. ohlidia November 6, 2013 at 06:29 #

    LOVE chicken cacciatore. It’s been so long… my father used to make it. Beautiful Chica!

    • Chica Andaluza November 6, 2013 at 08:32 #

      How lovely that your father used to make it – what a special treat that must gave been!

  21. spree November 7, 2013 at 18:34 #

    Gorgioso! (I’m sure I spelled that wrong, but I said it right…I think.) Anyway, what a great dish Tanya!!

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