Pollo alla Cacciatora - the best chicken dish in the world!
Learn more about this typical Italian dish with rosemary and garlic and come and learn to cook it with us at Tuscookany and enjoy with a delicious Tuscan wine
One of the most beloved Tuscan recipes, a dish that could not be left behind at Tuscookany: the pollo alla cacciatora (literally, “chicken hunter-style” in Italian). The experts really cannot fully explain the origin of the name. In fact, the ingredients needed to cook the chicken in this delicious way come straight from the garden. That is correct, I am not going crazy: in order to cook something hunter-style, you basically do not need any hunter around, apparently. Sure, the Tuscan countryside is famous for being a land of hunters, as demonstrated by the love the locals have for game meat-based dishes. Some people claim the label can be traced back to a tradition among Tuscan hunters, who often used rosemary and garlic, two key ingredients of the recipe, to cook the meat they brought home. Surely enough, whenever you cook it, the pollo alla cacciatora conquers every corner of the house and turns you into a hunter looking for the source of the irresistible aroma. For me, that is the explanation behind the name. It makes sense, you can try and write me if you disagree (I am pretty sure you will not!).
Now, how do you cook it?
Well, surprise, you need a chicken. Remember, just like most of the classic Italian recipes, this is a dish that comes from poor households, villagers who cooked with whatever they found in their backyards. However, this is no excuse to forget that the same people cared deeply about the connection they had with their land. Every ingredient, starting from the chicken itself, was the expression of the organic relationship that existed between man and nature, the same connection that makes every dish of the Italian cuisine special. What does this all mean? Please, find a chicken that was raised in the countryside, organic veggies and the love you will need to cook it all to perfection. Plus, and this is a must, you need to enjoy the dish with your family and friends. In fact, the pollo alla cacciatora was and still is a special dish. It is not something you cook everyday, poor people could not afford it. Instead, it is a celebration of the love for conviviality and the gifts of a life spent in a continuous dance with the rhythm of nature.
Sorry for the digression, do you have the chicken? Good.
Wash it and dry it, and chop it up into pieces. In a pan, fry some garlic and onion. It is time for celery and carrots. Yes, the classic Italian soffritto. Let the mix brown before adding the chicken (with its skin!). Now, salt and a little white wine (or red, if you have red). Take your time, enjoy the cooking and when the time is right add rosemary and pepper. At this point, some people also add tomatoes. It is up to you. Personally, I believe it is not a real Tuscan pollo alla cacciatora without them, but the dish has travelled around the peninsula and there are variations. Serve it with parsley and close it all with a nice bottle of Tuscan wine.
You are officially a real hunter of Italian deliciousness! Enjoy it!