When I was little my Mom used to make something called Kitchen Cacciatore. At least, that’s what she made according to my sister. I think I was well into middle school before I realized she had been pronouncing the name of the dish wrong our entire lives. Which is super cute and only a little annoying.
What my Mom actually made was Chicken Cacciatore. Sometimes also known in the world of recipes as Hunter Style chicken.
I decided to make it for the first time, based off the same recipe my Mom used back in the day, from The Joy of Cooking.
Now, let’s discuss the Joy of Cooking for a minute because – Oh. My. God. Good luck to anyone using that book if you’ve never cooked before. The instructions are SO minimal. They don’t even tell you to season the meat. CLEARLY you have to season the meat. OBVIOUSLY. But what if you are entirely new to cooking? What if you were raised on frozen and fast food and no one in your family cooked anything? And then you finally decided to take matters into your own hands but have zero idea what you’re doing or where to start. If that is the case this is not the book for you.
Step away from the book.
Go make friends with my pal Gordon or my bestie the Contessa. They will be specific. They will teach you. They will help you. The Joy of Cooking is clearly a book of its time because there is a massive assumption that you should already know what you’re doing. Irma Rombauer is not your friend or your teacher. She’s the mean substitute teacher who expects you know the answers to everything even though they haven’t been present for ANY of your education thus far. Sorry, Irma, but it’s true.
All that being said, her recipe produced a dish that was quite delicious. I think I can definitely improve on it (like adding a ton more seasoning), but as far as first tries go, it was a success.
- A 4 lb chicken
- 2 to 3 Tbs flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs chopped shallots
- (1 minced clove garlic)
- 1/4 cup Italian tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/8 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/8 tsp sweet marjoram
- 1+ cup sliced mushrooms
- Dredge chicken in flour. Saute until golden brown in olive oil with shallots (and garlic).
- Add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered for 1 hour or until tender. Serve over noodles.
See – SO MUCH INSTRUCTION.
First, the chicken
This is really the extent of the prep…so that’s a bonus
Brown the chicken
Throw everything in together
Let it cook and TA-DA! Dinner is ready.
This really is the easiest thing to make – ever. It helps that Irma kept it super simple and didn’t add a whole lot of ingredients here. If you look online for other versions of Chicken Cacciatore you’ll find that some have a ton of ingredients. I intend to try one of those to see what the difference really is, it may be even tastier with a few additions.
But for now, this recipe (once you season everything!) is solid and produces an easy, tasty meal. Perfect week night, throw everything in a pot and be back in an hour type of dish.
So thanks Irma. You’ve got a harder edge to your teaching than some, but at least the result is good.