Chicken Cacciatore: original recipe

Il chicken cacciatore it is a tasty second course typical of Tuscan cuisine but is prepared throughout Italy for a tasty Sunday lunch that is different from the usual baked chicken. Free-range chicken is used, the tomato creates a sauce to be savored with bread and there are several variations that introduce chopped vegetables of various types or wine to deglaze the chicken. A simple dish to prepare but that everyone always likes!

How the chicken cacciatore was born

There are many regions that claim the paternity of the chicken cacciatore, such as the Marche, Umbria and Emilia Romagna. However, it is Tuscany the land where this dish seems to have actually been prepared for the first time.

Between the 19th and 20th centuriesIn fact, in Tuscany chicken was a meat very present on peasant tables, especially on festive occasions, such as Sundays or Christmas. A rustic dish that was certainly not refined or proposed by great chefs but has always been very tasty, especially if accompanied with slices of fresh bread to be dipped in tomato sauce.

Chicken Cacciatore is so called in reference to hunters, who would be the first to prepare and enjoy this dish and who needed a tasty and easy to cook outdoors stew. It is thought, however, that the first chicken cacciatore did not actually have chicken as its basis but the rabbit or other game, between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Chicken Cacciatore: original recipe

Chicken Cacciatore is prepared by cutting it into pieces thighs, breast and fins, after having carefully washed and dried them. The chicken pieces are browned in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of oil for about 15 minutes. At this point, the chicken liversi tomatoes deprived of the seeds and are collected in a terrine to wet with vinegar and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, brown the chicken pieces with the remaining oil, add the salsail timo and thelaurel and continue cooking on low heat for 20 minutes. There are those who add chopped celery and carrots to the recipe, those who blend it with white or red wine or those who use water or broth. The variations are many. In any case, the chicken cacciatore, once cooked, is ready and should be served piping hot.

The secrets for an excellent chicken cacciatore

In the tomato season it is advisable to use those fresh while, during the rest of the year, it is preferable to use peeled tomatoes or tomato puree to obtain a thicker sauce.

Traditionally, chicken cacciatore is used pollo free range, or a free-range chicken, free to rummage in the fields to eat. Chickens raised in this way have firmer meat with a particular and characteristic flavor and aroma. The skin is also different, as it is yellow while the flesh is reddish.

Chicken Cacciatore can be kept for a couple of days in the refrigerator well covered with transparent film, the next day it will be enough to heat it on a low flame for 15 minutes with a little water. It can be frozen once cooked as long as you have used fresh and unfrozen ingredients.

Variations of chicken cacciatore

There are several variations of this recipe, in some cases it is possible to prepare chicken wings alla cacciatore only, without using different pieces of chicken such as the thighs, because the result is still a tasty dish.

A variant of chicken cacciatore is the chicken alla romana, which is prepared using the peppersthe ham, the garlic and the marjoram, always in the pan and blending with the white wine.

Still in Lazio, another very similar recipe is widespread, i.e. lamb cacciatore, made withseared lamb and served in a bowl seasoned with salt and pepper. In Tuscany and Umbria wild boar alla cacciatora is also prepared, a typical peasant dish, flavored with onion, bay leaf, white wine and rosemary.

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