WESTERN EUROPE - ITALY

CHICKEN

CACCIATORA .

with Olives, Capers,

& Butter Beans.

There are few meals as comforting and homely as a good hearty stew. For some reason this recipe always conjures up such an overtly romantic image of a timeless Italian countryside setting.  Some dear old Italian Duckie bustling about a dark, smokey kitchen, combining all these incredible flavours and ingredients, and then letting it all slowly bubble away until the chicken is incredibly tender and her ‘Hunter’ husband has returned from the fields with the

spoils of his day’s labour.

 

To get the very best out of this recipe, you want to try and allow the chicken to marinate overnight in the fridge with lots of the herbs and wine. Your chicken will look bright purple when you come to use it – but this is exactly what you want. It might be breaking with strict tradition, but the addition of capers and butter beans give a great edge to this age-old dish. Serve with plain rice, some crusty farm-house bread, or with a rough mash of roasted butternut and sweet potato.

 

Serves 4

 

 

  • 8 MIXED CHICKEN PIECES

  • 2 sprigs FRESH ROSEMARY  

  • 2 tsp DRIED THYME

  • 2 tsp DRIED OREGANO

  • 3 CLOVES GARLIC {grated}

  • zest 1 LEMON1/2

  • 1/2 BOTTLE RED WINE

 

  • PLAIN FLOUR {for dusting}

  • OLIVE OIL

  • 1/2 RED ONION

  • 2 tsp TOMATO PASTE

  • 2 cans chopped TOMATOES

     

  • 1 cup MIXED OLIVES {de-pitted}

  • 1/4 cup CAPERS

  • 1 can BUTTER BEANS

  • large handful FRESH BASIL             

  • SALT

  • BLACK PEPPER

  

 

In a large mixing bowl place all of the chicken pieces, then in with the rosemary, thyme, oregano, half of the grated garlic cloves, lemon zest, all of the wine, a good pinch of black pepper, and a small pinch of salt (more salty ingredients will be added along the way so best to taste at the end). Try and get a nice coverage over all the chicken pieces and then pop the bowl in the fridge (overnight is ideal, but a couple of hours will do if rushed).

 

Preheat oven to 180’c. Remove bowl from the fridge and fish out the chicken pieces from the wine marinade. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust the chicken lightly with plain flour, then get a deep-sided frying pan to a high heat and brown the chicken with a glug of olive oil. The high heat will make the skin nice and crispy. Once browned, remove from pan and place in large casserole dish.

 

In the same frying pan, in with the onion and fry until translucent. Then add the rest of the garlic and tomato paste and fry for another minute. Next, in with both cans of chopped tomatoes, and all the wine marinade. Bring to a boil, allowing the alcohol to burn off and then remove from heat.

 

Pour the wine mixture over the chicken. Add all of the olives and half of the basil leaves. Cover the top of the casserole dish with a layer of heavy tin foil and place in the oven.   

 

After 45 minutes add the can of butter beans and all the capers. Give it all a gentle stir and then back in the oven for another 45 minutes.

 

Remove from oven, check seasoning and then scatter over the rest of the fresh basil. Serve with plain rice, some crusty farm-house bread, or with a rough mash of roasted butternut and sweet potato.

 

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