‘Hunter’s’ chicken stew

Hunter’s chicken ‘cacciatora’ stew is a classic Tuscan dish that, on account of its delicious, unique taste, has now really caught on all around the world. It is commonly recognized as a recipe popular amongst peasant land workers: while the men were out hunting, the women stayed at home to cook what little the pantry offered them, trying their best to find something flavourful and satisfying to eat on their return. And so, with a simple chicken or cockerel and some vegetables from the garden – perhaps some tomatoes, sage leaves, an onion, a carrot, and maybe a glass of wine if there was some around, plus a few olives - a culinary masterpiece was born and became a classic Sunday dish for the family. It’s particularly delicious if served with two other classic side dishes: potatoes and salad. And for the adults, of course, a lovely glass of wine.

Ingredients

  • chicken 1000 grams
  • carrots 1 carrot
  • onions Half an onion
  • garlic 1 clove
  • rosemary A rosemary sprig
  • sage A small bunch of sage
  • tinned tomatoes Three or four peeled tinned tomatoes
  • tomato paste A teaspoon of tomato concentrate
  • black olives A tablespoon of black taggiasca olives
  • pepper Ground black pepper
  • salt
Information
45 minutes Total time
45 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

Place a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a knob of butter in a large pan. Add the coarsely sliced garlic, carrot and onion. Rub salt and pepper into the chicken and add it to the pan. Sauté the chicken on high heat on all sides. Pour in the white wine and the rosemary and sage. Then add the tinned tomatoes and tomato concentrate. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer. After half an hour, add - if you want them - the olives. Finish cooking for a few minutes without the lid so as to achieve the right consistency for the sauce. Serve hot.

Tips
This recipe works well for both chicken and hens, but even better with rabbit. If you're in a hurry, there are commercially available sauces for adding to your meat without having to go to the bother of buying all the separate ingredients, but of course you won’t get the same result as one made entirely at home.
Trivia
Hunter’s chicken stew is a recipe with purely peasant origins. Geographically, Tuscany claims to be the region where the dish was first made, although some argue that it has its roots in Umbria, or even Emilia. As for the etymology of the name of the recipe, "hunter", this refers to the particular flavour derived from a combination of garlic and rosemary used in the preparation of the dish, the same ingredients that hunters used to use to flavour and cook their prey when out on a hunt.

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