The Food Corner: Chicken Cacciatore

chuickenWith the arrival of an Autumn chill in the air this classic Italian dish is a welcome warmer. It’s a simple, rustic meal but the rich sauce is packed with the flavour of the wine, olives and tomatoes. (Picture by Louise Doyle)

Chicken Cacciatore (serves 4)

Olive Oil
1 large onion sliced
4 garlic cloves crushed/minced
4 skinless chicken thighs
4 skinless chicken drumsticks
500g carton of passata
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
125ml dry white wine
1 chicken stock cube
150ml boiling water
half teaspoon sugar
half teaspoon dried oregano
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (whole)
4 large sprigs of fresh parsley (whole)
200g mushrooms (halved)
1 medium courgette (chopped large dice)
20 black olives
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
Start the dish on the hob in a large casserole pot. Gently cook the onion in a splash of olive oil and a little salt for about 10 mins. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the white wine and bring to a rapid boil until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the tomato puree, passata, chopped tomatoes, stock cube, boiling water, olives, sugar and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to the boil. Add the chicken pieces. Transfer to the oven and cook uncovered for 30 mins, then add the mushrooms and courgettes and cook for a further 30 mins. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the whole herb sprigs. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and crusty bread for mopping up the sauce, or pasta or potatoes if you want a more substantial meal.

By Gemma Byrne

Recommended Wine

The perfect wines for this dish are found in the region of Abruzzo where Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is produced. These are light to medium bodied, aromatic wines with a tangy acidity that appeal to most palates. One such example is the Gran Sasso 2011 (13%abv) – a true expression of the region with fresh, lively blackberry fruits on the nose and palate, with a hint of spice and soft tannins and a round and elegant finish. This wine will be a perfect match with this dish and represents superb value at €12.20 from The Wine Boutique in Ringsend.

Readers of this article can avail of a 10% discount off this wine at The Wine Boutique. Just mention the article in-store! Offer available while stocks last.

By Dominic O’Shaughnessy