I have seen many versions, all through Italy of Chicken Alla Cacciatora. "Alla Cacciatora" refers to Hunter's style chicken. Men would go out with their dogs and rifle's, hunting birds and such.. Many would come back to a delicious meal, normally of freshly killed chicken, that was cleaned and prepared the night before. What makes this so unique, is the addition of the vinegary capers. They give this dish a very nice finish. Unlike Pollo alla pepperoni, chicken with baby peppers, that uses chicken thighs or breasts, this version, uses a whole chicken, cut up into pieces. This version, also calls for passing the chicken pieces in flour. The dredging in flour, gives this sauce a delicious thickness. Homegrown chickens, raised in the backyard, is not as fatty as the store bought, American versions. They are not laced with antibiotics and colorants. You will want to have extra bread on hand to help clean your plate. It's all delicious to me. Buon Appetito.
This version is without tomato. Although one can add tomato to this dish if you like. That is another version.
Ingredients (4 people)
One 4-5 pound chicken, cup up into pieces. Leave some of the fat on the chicken
2-3 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
Flour (about 1 cup), for dredging
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 cup of white wine (for deglazing the pan)
One tablespoon olive oil
4-5 colorful pepper (medium), cut into slices. If you are using a jarred variety, be sure and drain them first. Then slice them into thin slices.
2-3 cloves of garlic (smashed, to be removed later if you like)
One large pan to accommodate your ingredients in a flat fashion.
A lid for your pan
Salt and pepper your chicken pieces and dredge in flour.
Heat your vegetable oil in the pan.
Brown your chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan. De glaze the pan with wine. Let it reduce until all of your tiny pieces come off the bottom of the pan when scraped with a spoon.
Let the liquid reduce until there is almost nothing left in the pan but about 1/4 cup. Drain the liquid over the chicken and set aside.
Do not wash your pan!!!!
Place your tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and heat to medium. Add your garlic and peppers, slivered, all at once. Place a lid on the pan and keep for about 3 minutes or so. You will notice your vegetables will be softening and your peppers and garlic, fragrant. At this point, return your chicken, all of it's liquid to the pan. Keep a watchful eye on it. You don't want it to turn dry. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes. Your liquid should thicken, but not stick. If your chicken is sticking, your heat is to high. Add a little water to the pan and turn your chicken over to coat. When your chicken is almost done, place 2 tablespoon of capers into the pan. Be sure to give the capers a rinse first under fresh water. Salted capers or capers that are two vinegary can also over power this dish.
Pour everything into a serving dish and serve with plenty of crusty bread. A light, Pinot Noir is the perfect wine pairing for this dish.