Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore is one of my favourite dishes. I have never been 100% sure what it is exactly but as long as it is a stew with chicken and tomatoes I put it into the cacciatore category. This past weekend I was at my Nonna and Tatone's (Italian Grandparent's) house for dinner and I had mentioned that I had made some cacciatore. "Cacciatore? What made it a cacciatore?" They were interested to see how "Americanized" my version was. I told them how I did it and they nodded in semi-approval. At this point I was really interested as to what authentic cacciatore was. So I asked.

Cacciatore in Italian means "hunter" and chicken cacciatore means a chicken dish prepared hunter style. This dates back to when hunters would go out for days on end to hunt for meat. Their meals would consist of meat cooked with whatever vegetables they could gather and of course, wine. I would say my recipe is quite authentic in this case...minus the hunting part. This makes me happy. I just wish my Grandparent's could have given it a taste, as I thought it was delicious.

This recipe is very easy, so some of the quantities are vague becuase I just threw stuff in. There is a lot of wiggle room here. As long as you use quality ingredients you will get quality results. This is especially true when it comes to the tomatoes.

Chicken Cacciatore

3 ripe plum tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
cm of chili pepper
2 cloves of garlic
2 small leeks
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small chinese eggplant
roasted red peppers (I used about 1/3 of a ziploc bag full - about 3 Shepard peppers) *
red wine

To remove skin and seeds from tomato:
Bring a pot of water to a boil, leaving enough room for tomatoes. Make very shallow slices all around the tomato to make a cross shape. Add tomatoes to boiling water. Boil until skin starts to peel back, a minute or two. The riper the tomatoes are, the quicker this will happen. Remove from water and allow to cool. Peel off the skin and cut off the tough stem areas.

Cut into quarters. Remove seeds and put into a fine strainer over a bowl. Cut remaining tomato flesh into bite sized pieces. Once all the tomatoes have been seeded, move the fleshy seeds around in the strainer to remove all the juices. Add these juices to the diced tomatoes.

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pieces of chicken breast and cook for 5-8 minutes until almost cooked through.

Add chili pepper and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add leeks, carrots, celery, and eggplant.

Cook until vegetables are beginning to brown. Add tomatoes and roasted red pepper.

Once simmering, add a splash of red wine and stir.
Allow sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes, until desired consistency is reached.

almost there...

This can be served on it's own or with any kind of bread or pasta. I had it on couscous with Asiago cheese on top. Delizioso! (yes I had to use an online translator for that)


  1. Nonna & Tatone would be Proud!!!!!

  2. I have never seen plum tomatoes that big. How many people would this serve? Looks yummy
    Auntie Al.

  3. Those tomatoes were from my Dad's garden, they were pretty big!
    This would serve about 2 to 3 people, depending on your appetite.

  4. Cool Blog! Looking forward to more.