“Cacciatore” is the Italian word for “hunter”, and as a dish it can be translated as “hunter stew”. Traditionally, it was prepared with chicken or rabbit caught whilst out hunting, plus other ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, olives, red bell peppers, herbs and red wine. In cacciatore, the chicken or rabbit is seared for a few minutes in a pan with olive oil and is then removed from the pan. The vegetables are added to the remaining oil, followed by the tomatoes and wine and then finally the chicken is put back into the pan. Typically, it takes about an hour of stewing to do it properly but I just cooked it until the sauce was of a nice consistency and the chicken was cooked through. Although this is not strictly a “national dish” of Italy, it is Italian through and through, both in origin and in the simplicity of cooking it with great ingredients.
The chicken cacciatore I made was perfect after a long and tiring day. There was a lot of food in the stew to begin with, but I served mine with a mountain of pasta too (gluten free for me). I often order cacciatore at Italian restaurants but there was something so much more satisfying making it myself (and then eating it)! This isn’t a recipe to stick to exactly – you could swap out the chicken for rabbit and trade in the pasta for rice. As it seems to be with a lot of dishes I’ve made during my challenge; there is always room for variation!
For the original recipe, search “Spicy chicken cacciatore” on BBC Good Food.
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