Pollo alla Cacciatora - Hunter's Chicken Stew

Hunter's Chicken is found across Northern Italy, with many variations. This version uses boneless chicken thighs and is full of onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. It's also delicious served over basmati rice or egg noodles.

INGREDIENTS:
8 boneless chicken thighs or a mix of thighs and breast pieces
1 tp. sea salt and freshly ground pepper
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, peeled (1 crushed and 2 sliced)
1/2 bottle of Chianti or other red Italian wine
flour, for dusting
1 splash extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
a handful of green or black olives, pitted
8 white or brown crimini mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 medium onion, chopped fairly small
1 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes, whole

YIELD: Serves 4 persons

COURSE: Chicken & Other Birds

CUISINE: Italian

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and put them into a bowl. Add the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, and the crushed clove of garlic and cover with the wine. Leave to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge.
  2. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Dust the chicken pieces with flour and shake off any excess, Heat an oven-proof pan, add a splash of olive oil, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over, and put to one side.
  3. Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic. Fry gently until golden brown, then add the anchovies, olives, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes (broken up with a wooden spoon, and add the chicken pieces with their reserved marinade. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Using your instant-read thermometer, check that the chicken has reached 160 degrees F.
  4. Skim off any oil you deem to be excess, then stir, taste, and add a little salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs, if you can find them.
  5. Serve with beans, potatoes or rice.