Hunter’s Chicken

Chicken cacciatore translates basically to ‘chicken the hunter’s way.’ It’s a recipe that comes from the Italian countryside, where hunters and farm wives would use provisions that didn’t require refrigeration to turn the day’s catch into a meal that would feed a lot of people. Like many country recipes, it benefits from a lot of flexibility; you can play fast and loose with the amounts of pretty much anything in here, or substitute things for other things you haven’t got on hand, and it will still be delicious. You can even cook it over a campfire, if you’re so inclined.

hunters chicken

This recipe is also fantastic for feeding kids, particularly if you’re doing baby led weaning like we are. It expands to feed an army inexpensively (I cook double what the recipe calls for in order to have some hope of feeding our little bottomless pits). It also includes things kids like: chicken, beans, and tomatoes. Once our babies mastered the pincher grasp, they became deeply interested in beans.

Hunter’s Chicken

While there are directions to this, you can also play pretty loose with the order in which you do things. Just make sure the beans go in at the end so they don’t overcook, and the chicken is fully cooked, and you’re in pretty good shape.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or half that amount dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or white wine
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 14-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 1-2 minutes, until starting to cook through.

Add onions and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add chicken and cook until beginning to brown on all sides.

Add broth or wine and bring to a bubble while scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.

Add tomatoes, herbs, and bay leaves, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a bubble, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add cannellini beans and cook until heated through, about another five minutes.  If the sauce isn’t as thick as you would like, let it continue to simmer uncovered for another few minutes.  Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

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