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You may have seen the phrase ‘alla cacciatora’ on Italian restaurant menus. It simply means ‘hunter-style’ – which means characterised by robust, savoury flavours, but also cooked with a minimum of fuss using ingredients that most Italian kitchens will have to hand. For this recipe, the quality of the chicken is important – it should be free-range, from a butcher or supplier you trust.
Two chicken legs
Two generous slices of chicken breast, skin still on
50g pancetta (salt-cured pork belly)in 4 pieces
1 tbsp. tomato sauce (sugo di pomodoro)
1 tbsp. meat broth (sugo di arrosto)
6 black olives
60g potato, peeled and chopped up thin, julienne-style
2 confit tomatoes
One medium-sized onion, diced
A clove of garlic, unpeeled
A sprig of rosemary
A handful of finely chopped parsley
Half a glass of white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
A twist of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
In a casserole, heat the oil and the butter on a medium flame, then toss in the chicken legs and breast in the olive oil until they take colour. The skin should be a little crunchy. At this point take out the breast, leaving in the legs, and add the diced onion, the unpeeled clove of garlic, and the sprig of rosemary. Toss in the oil until the onion goes transparent, then throw in the white wine and return the breast pieces to the pan with the skin upwards – don’t let the latter get wet. Add the meat broth, the tomato sauce, the olives, potatoes, pancetta and parsley.
Cover the casserole with its lid and place in a 180°C oven. After 10 minutes, remove the chicken breast pieces and leave them to drain, then return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Serve as it is, in the casserole. Depending on the season, mushrooms or artichokes can be added to vary the recipe. If you like a smoother sauce, blend it with a stick blender after cooking, remembering to take out the rosemary and garlic clove first.
Photos © Roberto Salomone