Chicken cacciatore is a traditional Italian dish guaranteed to bring some countryside warmth to your plate. From its history to the authentic Italian recipe, here’s everything you need to know about chicken cacciatore.
What Is Chicken Cacciatore?
Chicken cacciatore (or pollo alla cacciatora, in Italian) is a traditional Italian chicken stew made with tomatoes, onion, and spices.
What we know as chicken cacciatore is known in Italy as pollo alla cacciatora, which is essentially the same, with the difference that “cacciatora” means “huntress” in Italian—the word somehow switched genders in the translation into English!
Here’s another interesting fact: Whenever you see the words cacciatore or cacciatora as part of the name of a dish, it usually means that the preparation of that dish involves the use of ingredients such as garlic and rosemary. The reasoning is that, according to tradition, Italian hunters used those ingredients to add flavor to the meat they prepared during their hunting expeditions.
Linguistic curiosities aside, chicken cacciatore is highly appreciated in Italy, as is almost always the case with dishes from the tradizione contadina, or “farmer tradition.” Italians are especially fond of these dishes because they represent a link with the rich peasant history of their country.
An Authentic Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
An authentic chicken cacciatore recipe calls for (at least) the following ingredients:
- 1 Whole chicken (about 3 lbs.)
- 1 Yellow onion
- 1 Rib of celery
- ½ Cup of red wine
- 1 Sprig of rosemary
- 14 Oz peeled tomatoes
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Garlic glove
- Extra virgin olive oil (as needed)
- 1 Sprig of parsley
- Black pepper (as needed)
Keep in mind that this is only what can be considered the “standard” chicken cacciatore recipe; there are many regional variations that can be considered authentic as well.
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