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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Polla alla Cacciatora, or the Story of Me and Chicken

If this keeps up, you'll soon be reading Elle's New Chicken Kitchen. That's a mouthful. All chicken, all day! A birthday? Chicken! Special holiday? Chicken!

That doesn't sound all that great, does it? No. So my next post will be cupcakes. But until then, it's chicken!! I just looked, and four of my last twelve posts have been chicken ones. This makes five.
Ah, well. Hopefully you'll all forgive my extreme chickeneyness. (Yep--that's a word. That I just made up.)

This one is courtesy of Saveur. You know how you get little bonus gifts when you subscribe? Well they sent me two little Italian cookbooks when I first subscribed a few years back. I bookmarked a lot of the recipes, and then...someone (ok, me!)...
immediately lost the books. I know, right? How can you lose them so quickly? I have no clue. Guess I'm just really good that way.

So fast forward a couple of years--we were moving. I assumed I'd find them then.


Oooooh. Would I find them while unpacking? *fingers crossed!*


Time warp. TWO years later (last week). My daughter is moving stuff around and picks up an old cooking magazine of mine. Because, you know, we all save those, don't we? Because we really
will make all of those earmarked recipes. Eventually. Someday. Maybe.

My two missing babie...I mean--books fell out of the magazine. I almost heard the angels singing. Honest! There they were, right there on the floor. It was as if they were glowing, so happy to have been found, to once again see the light of day! (But what really happened was that they fell on the floor in a patch of afternoon sunlight. But hey, I have an active imagination, ok?)

Aha!!! Now I can make that Chicken Cacciatora I've been dreaming about! After all this time! Or... I could have googled, because, you know--it's right there, online. D'oh!

Hunter's Wife's Chicken (Pollo alla Cacciatora) Serves 4

It's Hunter's Style, but it's named in honor of the hunter's wife--the cacciatora, who traditionally cooked it on the eve of the hunt. So there, Hunter!

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 3-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces

1 cup dry white wine
1 (28-oz). can peeled diced tomatoes, undrained

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves

1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chicken stock (see note!)
2-3 TBSP tomato paste
(see note!)

Note: I didn't need the chicken stock, in fact, I opted to thicken it up by adding some tomato paste. But I'm leaving the stock in the ingredient list in case any of you find you do need it.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more.
Push onions to sides of pan, then add chicken and fry, turning pieces several times to brown evenly, about 4 minutes per side.
Add wine and let it evaporate, which should take about 5 minutes.
Add undrained tomatoes to the pan.
Stir in bay leaf, rosemary, and parsley (reserving a little for garnish) and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, for 30 minutes, adding chicken stock gradually (if needed!)as tomato juice evaporates.
Remove chicken from pan, and stir in tomato paste, increase heat to medium and add chicken back to pan.
Simmer 10-15 more minutes until sauce is thickened.
Remove bay leaf and garnish with reserved parsley. Serve with steamed potatoes, rice, or noodles.

To print this recipe, click here!

This dish is wonderful. It makes a thick, rich sauce that coats the chicken nicely. We'll definitely have it again. My husband said it reminds him of the cacciatora he had as a kid. Slightly different, but the closest so far. This is also a very hearty dinner, and I can see why a wife would have cooked it on the eve of the hunt--its good fuel for the hunter.

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Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite dishes, so I've been waiting to see how it turned out. I'm always looking to try a new recipe and this sounds perfect. Great photos, too! I'm thinking maybe chicken cupcakes next, yes?

Elle said...

Thank you, Kelly! Chicken cupcakes would be *very* interesting, for sure. And not in a good way, hehe.

jesse said...

OH MY GOODNESS, your pictures are incredible!! That chicken is just calling out to me!

Elle said...

Thank you, Jesse! It called out to me for years, hehehe.

Katie said...

Yum! I think I could eat this for dinner tonight, no problem!

Elle said...

Thanks, Katie!

Leslie M. said...

I'm a vegetarian, but I make this for my Hubby! Yours looks wonderful.

Anonymous said...

wow! definitely making this soon! delicious! :)

RecipeGirl said...

I 'get' the chicken thing. We seem to eat lots of chicken too. It doesn't ever really get old, does it? Kid friendly too. This looks great, but I'll look forward to your cupcakes even more :)

Donna-FFW said...

OOHH, so very wonderful. It looks so very delicious. I have got to try this one. It really is so SCRUMPTIOUS looking.

Elle said...

Leslie, Ginny and Lori--thank you so much!
And Lori, you're right--chicken never gets old--it's just so versatile.

Elle said...

Thank you, Donna!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

So glad that you can make it now!! :-D

Elle said...

Thanks, Liz!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Love this type of chicken!

Sharon said...

I could never tire of chicken, so bring it on! Looking forward to your cupcakes!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

What great pictures - This looks so wonderful!!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Looks good! My mom is a chicken lover from waaaay back. She can eat it everyday. I, on the other hand enjoy it but don't love it. Maybe I'd love it if I don't so often over cook it. I'm getting better but still have a bit to go.


Bradley said...

I've never had that type of chicken before. My mom loves chicken more than pretty much any other food. That was a funny story about losing and then finding the cookbooks. I hate losing things, but it also makes me so appreciative of those things once I find them again.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind a flurry of chicken posts if they all looked this good. Thinking of having a second dinner now.

kat said...

Very, very tasty. Bring on the chicken dishes, its such a staple

Anonymous said...

That looks so darn good Elle. From the first picture I couldn't even tell it was chicken. It almost looks like ziti and/or manicotti on top of penne. That sounds pretty good actually, pasta on pasta. You're very creativity-inducing Elle.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

That looks so good Elle. I was planning on doing another chicken dish tonight but this may win out! great pictures too!

Anonymous said...

oh this looks so good- i would be dunking bread into that sauce! pam

Anonymous said...

I'm so on this one. THANKS.

Colleen said...

This looks wonderful! So cozy and delicious!

Anonymous said...

Thank you....This is one dish where I often use green peppers since they turn sweet in the tomato sauce, but you can also use red, yellow and orange.

grace said...

wowza, you don't have to twist my arm to convince me that this is a wonderful dish. i start slobbering at the thought of it, and your pictures don't help. glad you found the books! :)

Peter M said...

Yep...after reading your ingredients....that's a good recipe. Love the flaky, moist meat.

vanillasugarblog said...

Where have I seen this recipe before? Looks so familiar. Oh well, this looks good. Glad you found it or rather your daughter.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a new reader, who absolutely loves pollo alla cacciatora. And, now I've found a recipe that sounds as good as I remember. Thanks so much and I'm looking forward to the cupcakes!
Joy (

Carol said...

Elle-this looks SOOOO good!!! Don't feel bad-we eat so much chicken in this house, I swear I should be laying eggs! We love it-and I can't wait to try this recipe-in my book, you can NEVER have too many ways to cook chicken! :)

Kiezie said...

This looks wonderfully delicious! I'm not good with tomato-pasta-chicken combos -- I don't know why. Maybe I'll just have to dive in!!!

Kiezie said...

I twittered because you are awesome!!

Anonymous said...

That looks really good! I'm glad you guys really enjoyed it, especially considering that it was a loooong time coming:)

Sophie said...

MMMMMM....this dish looks so appetizing!!

Anonymous said...

This is a dish that I love but it has been ages since I've had it. It is going into the rotation! Thanks!

Maria said...

Looks delicious and I would deinitely appreciate a plate of that right about now! I love chicken, so feel free to keep serving it up any which way you like!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely delightful Elle.

Jackie's Stitches said...

I love your chickyness! I could eat chicken 3 times a day! I've been looking for a good chicken cacciatore type recipe so I'll have to try this out!

A New England Life said...

This sounds and looks delicious not to mentions I'm always looking for something to do with Chicken!

My mom used to make Chicken Cacciatore when we were kids too and I always loved it. This recipe seems a little more 'italian'. My husband would love it!

You always have wonderful recipe's Elle : )

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