Pollo alla cacciatora (chicken cacciatore) in Italian translates to ‘meal prepared hunter style’. What I love about this meal is that its delicious and rustic.
**Pre-heat oven to 180*C
– 2 chicken breasts – cut into medallion size pieces, or 6 drumsticks, or 5 thigh fillets
– 400g of diced tomatoes
– 2 onions, sliced
– 1 red capsicum, sliced
– 6 button mushrooms, quartered
– 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
– 2 long red chilli, 1 with seeds and the other without seeds – both sliced
– 3 bay leaves
– 1 cup of pitted kalamata olives, drained of brine
– 1 sprig of fresh thyme
– 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
– 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
– 1/3 cup of red wine
– 1/2 cup of water
– salt & pepper
– 3 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
– olive oil
1. Dust the chicken pieces in a mixture of salt, pepper and flour, then in a medium high frying pan, seal the chicken until it starts to gain some colour. Once this step is completed, set all the chicken aside.
2. In a large cast iron cookpot, or an oven proof pot, add oil, garlic, chilli, capsicum, onion and mushrooms. Fry this until the onion turns translucent.
3. Deglaze your pot with wine and simmer for 1minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste, thyme, oregano and season well with salt and pepper – stir well. Add chicken pieces and make sure they are fully submerged in the sauce, chuck the lid on and pop into the oven for 30minutes.
4. After 30minutes, add olives and check if it needs to be seasoned further.
5. Place the pot back into the oven, without the lid and bake for a further ten minutes.
– Serves 4. I find rustic food is best served with creamy mashed potato or al dente fettucine 😉