Here in the UK we love our Hunters Chicken. It’s available at most local pubs and restaurants and is a favourite homemade dish. The word “cacciatore” in Italian means hunter. So essentially this dish is just an Italian version of this British Classic. For Chicken Cacciatore Day we take a look at the history of the dish and provide a few recipes to inspire your tea time plans this evening.
Originating in the 13th century, this dish wasn’t one that was openly available to all households. During the renaissance era, chicken and other poultry was expensive and the only people that could enjoy hunting and afford chicken were the wealthy. The dish originally came from the central region of Italy. Since it’s creation it has taken on several different versions. In the original version of the dish chicken was served with peppers, onion and was actually more of a chicken stew that didn’t contain tomatoes until later centuries.
Depending on where in the world you’re from, your version of Chicken Cacciatore may be quite a bit different that the ones featured here.
What I love about this Spicy Chicken Cacciatore recipe from Food So Good Mall is that it is served over mash. So many times chicken cacciatore is served over pasta and this is a great substitution, especially for those of us who love spuds. The name of this recipe can be quite misleading. The ingredients suggest that the spiciest one is black pepper, unless when it says red pepper it really means one big ol’ chilli, but I’m thinking that isn’t what they are talking about. I happen to love spicy food, so I added cayenne pepper when coating the chicken and garnished with fresh diced chillies. Not for the faint of heart, but definitely a spicy kick off this medieval masterpiece.
I have to admit, before trying this recipe the image of it on Taste.com.au drew me in. It had warm, comfort, autumn food written all over it. I was in for a treat. This Australian version of chicken cacciatore includes anchovies, capers, kalmatta olives and pancetta. To me it tasted like something fresh from Tuscany, despite using a jar tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes, but hey it was just easier. The flavours of the anchovies, olives and capers combine beautifully in this dish. What’s even better? Leftovers are divine!
One pot dishes are my saviour during the winter months. There is nothing better than a hearty bowl of something good, with a sweet slice of homemade cornbread. This one pot chicken cacciatore from Sweet Potato Chronicles reminded me more of a cross between chicken cacciatore and pasta e fagioli. The cannellini beans added a beautiful, creamy taste to this otherwise tomato-ey dish.
Since I mentioned cornbread, I know it isn’t something that is readily made in the UK. But I grew up eating it with everything from soup to chilli and everything in between. Enjoy this lovely family recipe (with ingredients available here in the UK).
Tasty Southern Sweet Cornbread Recipe
140g All Purpose Flour
150g Caster Sugar
3 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Large Egg
75ml Vegetable Oil
- Preheat your oven to 200C. I like to use a cast iron skillet to cook my cornbread but a round cake tin will suffice. Make sure they are liberally buttered/sprayed/greased.
- In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients until well blended. Add in milk, egg and vegetable oil until mixture is well combined. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. When checked a skewer inserted into the middle of the cornbread should come out clean.
A chicken cacciatore recipe that is diet friendly?! Say it isn’t so. You’ll notice that there are no potatoes or pasta to speak of but with a recipe this delicious you won’t miss them. The chicken is cooked in fragrant coconut oil, giving it a spectacular fresh taste. The recipe leaves room for you to add your own seasonings, I opted for oregano, basil, rosemary and cayenne pepper. Yes again with the cayenne pepper, plus of course salt and pepper to taste. Tomorrow for lunch I’ll be wrapping these leftovers in cabbage leaves like a wrap keeping it waist line friendly!
If these recipes don’t give you a bad case of the “I need some chicken” I’m not sure if anything will. Have your own version of chicken cacciatore? Tweet us @appliancecity or find us on Facebook.