Some of us hunt for love, some of us hunt for our car keys, and some of us hunt for chicken.
We never really as humankind even historically talk of the hunt for chicken, but certainly talk of the hunt for other fowl and small game such as rabbit (which of course tastes just like chicken).
“Cacciatore” means “in the style of the hunter.”
The origin of the dish goes back to the Renaissance period somewhere in central Italy, a great time in history with extreme poverty, the black plague etc., but we were civilized enough to have class systems.
Hunting was evolving from necessity to a sport or leisure activity for the well to do.
Whilst out hunting pheasant or quail, they would also collect wild mushrooms, herbs, and flavoured plants and the cook’s job would be to make a tasty stew out of all of the offerings. He would often add tomatoes or olives, as the acidity would help to break down the toughness of the meat. They would then serve it up in a cup with a piece of crusty bread to use as an eating tool, as silverware did not yet exist. It was the first biodegradable cutlery.
This Chicken Cacciatore will be a demo-and-dine dish here on Wednesday, in fact. There may even be cutlery!
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. butter
- 2 whole chickens cut in pieces
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 each green & red peppers, cut in strips
- 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 head garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp. Italian herbs
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cans Whole tomato with juice
- 1/2 bundle parsley.
- Salt, pepper
Dredge chicken pieces in seasoned flour and sear in butter/oil combination until lightly browned, then remove from pan.
Sauté vegetables in the same pan until starting to colour, and deglaze with wine and tomatoes.
Return chicken to pan and place in 350 F oven for a good hour or until cooked and tender.
Serve with pasta or rice.