My mom made Chicken Cacciatore when I was a kid, and I remember liking it a lot. To be fair, there were very few foods that I didn’t like, a trait I took with me into adulthood. Sadly, I don’t have her recipe. So, when I got the urge to make this dish a few weeks ago, I turned to the best: Marcella Hazan, and found her recipe for “Chicken Fricassee, Cacciatora Style”. You can find the recipe in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. It has also been featured on any number of cooking and recipe sites, which can easily be found by searching the web.
“Cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian. Dishes “all cacciatora” are prepared “hunter-style”, meaning simple recipes with few ingredients and prepared in a single pan. Chicken and rabbit or the most common meats used.
I made a few changes to Marcella’s recipe, reflecting our taste in chicken: bone-in, skin-on thighs for me and boneless, skinless breasts for my wife. The recipe specifies “olive oil”, but I used EVO, rather than the lower-grade oil typically used for cooking in Italian kitchens. Otherwise, I used the best-quality ingredients I could find (and afford), and tried to faithfully follow the recipe. The vegetables are organic from the Laguna Beach Farmers Market. The chicken is organic, air-dried, from Bristol Farms in Newport Beach. I found the organic flour and other ingredients, except for the olive oil, at Gelson’s in Dana Point. I buy California Olive Ranch EVO online because the price is less than what the local grocers charge.
Notice my well-used Calphalon sauté pan, now considered “vintage”. I bought this when they were still made in Toledo, OH, before the company became part of the Rubbermaid empire.
We ate the Chicken alla Cacciatora with brown rice, steamed broccoli, and our usual salad of mixed greens, vegetables, and avocado lightly dressed with homemade dijon mustard vinaigrette.
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