Pollo alla Cacciatora
Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian, and in the contect of cooking “alla cacciatora” refers to a meal prepared hunter-style. In Jamie’s Italy, Jamie Oliver has a really simple recipe to make this incredibly tasty dish.
I used four chicken legs and four chicken thighs to serve four people. Even when buying free-range, these are really inexpensive pieces of meat that have a greater depth of flavour then chicken breasts, as the meat is cooked on the bone. Season the pieces with salt and ground pepper and put them in a bowl. Add eight bay leaves and two sprigs of fresh rosemary, tucked in between the chicken, then stir in a crushed clove of garlic (I use a microplaner to grate the garlic). Cover everything with a half a bottle of red wine (preferably Chianti, but any full, rich red will do), and leave to marinade for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180deg C. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Pour some plain flour onto a plate and dust the pieces of chicken in it, shaking off any excess. Heat an ovenproof casserole dish, add a splash of olive oil, and fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over.
Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and then add two cloves of garlic, sliced. Fry gently until golden brown, taking care not to burn the garlic. Then add two 400g tins of good-quality tomatoes (break them up with a wooden spoon in the dish), six anchovies roughly chopped, a handful if olives (with their stones removed), the chicken, and the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil and then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about an hour and a half.
When it’s cooked, skim off any oil that’s collected on top of the sauce and remove the bay leaves and rosemary. For a traditional Italian meal serve with some cannellini beans and crusty bread, or for a more hearthy meal serve with a big bowl of mashed potato.