Pollo alla Cacciatora - Hunter’s Chicken Stew

Pollo Alla Cacciatore-(0396) by Meeta K. Wolff

It was just about a year ago that I was frantically packing my suitcases, mentally reciting a few lines from my presentation and packing my camera equipment, heading towards Florence. I always love traveling to Italy as it’s a country I feel attached to - its rich culture, the atmosphere, the people and the food, all entice me and inspire me on many levels. Traveling to Florence this time was special however, as I was going to be joined by 3 dear friends and 12 new faces. What I did not know however I was going to come away with many new friends and cherish the old ones more.

I was headed to Tuscany to join Ilva, Jeanne and Jamie for our second From Plate to Page workshop under the Tuscan sun. I love the way these workshops were coming to life and with each one we were gaining not only experience but making contact with some incredibly warm, loving and talented people who came to our workshops as participants but within a few days we were laughing, sharing stories and singing together like we had known each other for a lifetime.

We have very successfully completed three From Plate to Page workshops, Weimar our first workshop, which we dived into with all our gusto, then came Tuscany, which we mastered with the typical Italian charm and this year we hit the rolling hills of Somerset for the best of Britain. What a roller coaster ride each one has been.

I have many fond memories from each one of these workshops. Moments that I have captured in my head and there they will be cherished. Be it moments like singing Abba while hulling strawberries in Weimar, bulbs exploding over our heads in Somerset or sitting on the stone wall and allowing the Tuscan sun to rejuvenate me in a quiet moment - there are many such moments.

Pollo Alla Cacciatore-(0408) by Meeta K. Wolff

One of the fondest memories I have is the one of walking into the rustic stone floored kitchen of Il Salicone, at our spectacular venue in Tuscany and seeing Ilva standing alone at the stove stirring a wooden spoon in a fairly large metal pot. Behind me in the dining room there were squeals of joy from our Tuscany group as they discovered boxes of Prosecco and wine from our exceptional sponsors. In comparison the kitchen was quiet and cool. I stood there for a few seconds watching Ilva.

See, Ilva is a cherished friend and although I’ve known her for close to 7 years this was actually only the second time I was meeting her in person! Every time I tried to imagine her cooking the delightful dishes she creates on her blog, this was very much how I pictured it. On this evening she was in charge of cooking and was preparing one of my favorite Italian dishes pollo alla cacciatora or hunter’s style chicken. As I walked up to Ilva I was embraced by the soothing scent of tangy tomatoes, garlic and onions. I stayed for awhile helping with the preparations and we chatted, giggling and making jokes, feeling relaxed. Soon the kitchen began to fill up with the other members of our group and the moment faded. But it was branded in my head.

SidebarIrelandThis week we mark another milestone in our Plate to Page story. We’ve been working on our sparkly new website behind the scenes and putting together a brand new workshop for 2013. We’ve worked hard and there were many frustrations, highs and lows but in the end we rocked it. The Plate to Page website is looking hot - isn’t it?

We’re absolutely thrilled about our fourth workshop in May 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. Mark those calendars! From 10th - 13th May 2013 we’re taking the From Plate to Page workshop to the beautiful rolling green hills of County Meath, Ireland. You’ll find all the details to the workshop in our Ireland announcement page.

This time we have changed our registration procedure by opening the workshop for pre-registrations and offering the opportunity to register your interest before officially opening the registrations. Those who are pre-registered will be getting timely updates and details to everything concerning the workshop and you will have plenty of time to check dates, flights and budgets in advance. Also different this time is that for those of you who are certain about attending this workshop now, have the option to bindingly secure a spot on the workshop by selecting the appropriate field on the registration form. As always the group is limited to 10 participants. Our comprehensive FAQ page covers a variety of topics, explaining many details to how we work behind the scenes.

My favorite page however is the “What Participants Say” page! It makes me beam from ear to ear when I read it and I am filled with joy to read that what we do has touched so many of our attendees in such an inspiring and positive way. We cherish our alumni, and where possible keep a track on how they progress, exchange emails and advice. Staying in touch beyond the 3 days of the workshop is proof of the bond formed during the time. We even like to integrate our alumni in other workshops like we did in Somerset. Hayley, a dear alumni from our Tuscany workshop was the driving force behind the meals on the last day in Somerset, creating a varied and mouth-watering menu, which was relished by the Somerset attendees.

I hope you enjoy browsing through the pages of our new website. We have a lot of motivating and inspiring articles by incredible guest writers - really great reads all of them. We would love your feedback if you have any suggestions on a professional writer/photographer you would like to see on our website.

Maybe you can feel how excited I am about this. I am also sentimental and to celebrate the awesome team I work with, the past and future workshops, the generous and incredible sponsors we have partnered with and the brilliant friends we have made along the way, I decided to re-create pollo alla cacciatore.

Pollo Alla Cacciatore-(0395) by Meeta K. Wolff

Pollo alla cacciatore or chicken cacciatore in English, is a simple dish that is popular not only in Italy but around the world and there are many varieties of this dish. The ingredients for chicken cacciatore vary, but its essentials are chicken, onions, tomatoes and wine. It is often made with rabbit, and many recipes call for mushrooms, both things an Italian hunter might come across in the woods.

In my version I use divine free-range organic chicken and add carrots and parsnip to the dish. I omit the onions allowing the smoked garlic to lead the flavors. Mushrooms, the vegetables and a handful of olives top off the stew perfectly. 

Recipe: Pollo Alla Cacciatore

Printable version of recipe here

Pollo Alla Cacciatore-(0395) by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight marination
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin left on
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, 2 crushed and 2 slices
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • ½ bottle of chianti
  • flour for dusting
  • fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper
  • 200g small button mushrooms
  • handful green olives
  • 800g canned tomatoes

Method:

  1. Pat chicken pieces dry and season with fleur de sel and cracked pepper. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl, add the bay leaves, rosemary and crushed garlic and cover with wine. Leave to marinate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Drain chicken, reserving the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust the chicken lightly with flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. Heat an ovenproof pan, add a glug of olive oil, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over. Add carrots, parsnips and sliced garlic and continue to fry for a few minutes then add the tomatoes and the wine marinade. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid or a double thickness layer of aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and olives 15 minute before dish is finished, stir to combine
  5. Adjust the seasoning and serve with polenta or as I love with rosemary roasted potatoes and cannellini beans

Verdict

Pollo Alla Cacciatore-(00400) by Meeta K. Wolff

As I wrap up this post I am once again frantically packing my bags, reciting lines of my presentation as I head to Dubai this weekend. My parents are awaiting Soeren and me eagerly and this time next week I’ll be in the middle of my second Dubai Food Styling & Photography workshop, which I am very excited about. You’ll find an overview of all my workshops for 2012/2013 on my workshop page. The page will be updated as I finalize other upcoming workshops in 2013.

Wish me luck and I’ll see you when I return with lots of stories and recipes. See you soon!

More great chicken recipes from WFLH:

539050148_a6ba9ea73a LimeChickenVegFarro02framed2 ParmesanThaiBasilChicken01framed2
Italian Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Lime Chicken and Vegetable Farro Risotto Parmesan Thai Basil Crusted Chicken


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

Continue »

49 comments:

  1. Love your posts and I also get excited along with you whenever you share your project details :)

    SOmeday I will attend your photography and styling classes and thats gonna add a feather up my cap!!

    All the best in everything you do!!

    Regards,
    Manju
    http://manjuseatingdelights.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Manju! It's nice to hear that people are right there with me living the moments. makes sharing such news fun!

      Delete
  2. My daughter has what she feels to be a link with Ireland with the name Erin and a smidge of Irish on her dads side. I have always wanted to walk its green hills, but in 3 days I will be walking the cobbles streets of Italy, the first time since I was 18. As for the chicken what more can be said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh enjoy your trip to Italy! I love the country make sure you indulge in all the incredible food ;o) Maybe also a pollo alla cacciatore!

      Delete
  3. Aaaah, good times, good times :) Thrilled at the team effort that pulled the P2P site together over the past few weeks - we rock! Looking forward already to Ireland in May and to making more memorable memories (something like incidental incidents ;o)) P.S. - didn't realise we each got a set of that red cutlery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Memorable memories are created by incidental incidents :o) Yes i am so happy to have pulled our new website off over the last few works. Love working with you and the girls!

      Delete
  4. I want to learn from you Meeta. When you travel this side of the world? One worksop in Bay area CA please! And the new website of Plate to Page looks fantastic :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ;o) I would love to make the trip across to the US. However, we need to have sponsors that bring us there as it will take a lot of organization. But we do hope we can one day - we are planning and considering it.

      Delete
  5. Goodness - all this has happened in a year! Cheers to Plate to Page and chicken cacciatora :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and this is only part of it. It's been a roller coaster --- I am glad you have been a part of the ride though ;o)

      Delete
  6. Dear Meeta,
    I love your blog, especially the indian receipes. And I think I will also try this nice chicken cacciatore - but: what do I do with the butternut squashes? Regards Andrea from Austria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrea, Glad you are liking the blog. The butternut squashes? Ahh well you use them to make this ;o)

      Delete
  7. I am surely going to try out this recipe. Its sounding so YUMMY.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How fun your memories are, as always your blog inspires but it is wonderful that you share your expertise and knowledge with everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nik thanks for you wonderful words. The blogging community has been generous to me and I glad I get a chance to give back in my own way!

      Delete
  9. Such a beautiful post Meeta. I have been following your blog from 2008. I have said all the good things about your posts so many times that I am running out of words to compliment your post, recipes and pictures :-) You are a true inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :)) Thanks Vijitha! Love that you've been around for so long. Cherish that and every comment you make. Glad you keep coming around xo

      Delete
  10. I've never heard of this recipe, but it looks amazing!

    How lucky to be able to do those workshops!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenn thanks! Glad you like it! I do enjoy you these workshops!

      Delete
  11. Wonderful comfort food! Oh & I would so love to come to Plate to Page.....you really must make it down my way one day!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We would love to come your way! Let's see where we get around to!

      Delete
  12. Well color me green with envy! I would love to travel around and take what sounds like super fun workshops :) Your Hunter's Chicken Stew looks absolutely fabulous!

    I hope you have a safe and fun trip to Dubai!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! I hope one day you can join us. Would love to meet you! Having a ball here in Dubai!

      Delete
  13. A beautiful stew! So tasty looking. I'm sure that this workshops is going to be hyper interesting and extremely enjoyable.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks delicious have you tried this with shrimp or fish?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Im simply drooling. Looks inviting -- have you tried this with any other seafood?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I have not - but I am now thinking of ideas!

      Delete
  16. Super exciting planning the workshops for 2013. As we speak I believe you are with your mom and running another workshop. So happy for you Meeta. The dish looks absolutely stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shulie! Yes i was and it was lovely - you know how families are. I loved every minute of my visit to Dubai!

      Delete
  17. Yes, yes yes! So glad and thankful that I've been part of P2P and enjoyed a truly special time with you and the others in Florence! I remember that kitchen, the table, the bonding, the goodie bags... sigh: miss it! Thanks for this great reminder, Meeta:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww! Denise it was so lovely to meet you there. Florence was a wonderful time and the group was such a massively talented and harmonious group. It reflected in your work and in our fantastic evenings together. Hugs
      ox

      Delete
  18. It looks really delicious!! I don't know if it's you who take the photos but they are superb!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes all the images on my blog are mine (otherwise indicated) Thanks!

      Delete
  19. A big bowl of comfort is what this stew looks like, I would not want to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you on that! Make doubles so you do not have to share!

      Delete
  20. Looks beautiful and delcious. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Everything is so clean and modern there it's amazing. Looks like you hosted another phenomenal workshop!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks El. The Dubai workshop was a lot of fun. We had a blast and yes things were very clean and organized1

    ReplyDelete
  23. this looks great - can't wait to try it. I really love the way you write

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta