Cacciatore is Italian for “hunter” and alla cacciatora means “hunter-style,” or how my grandmother would pronounce it in her Salernitano dialect, cacciadode. The idea of this recipe is that a hunter could prepare it in one pot on a camp fire in the field. The meat was whatever game that was hunted, mushrooms and rosemary were picked nearby and the other ingredients, wine, garlic ,etc., were easy enough to carry. Alla cacciatora works well with domesticated fowl as well as game birds and rabbit.
The Cacciatore you get in American Italian restaurants is usually done with a heavy tomato sauce. This version is much more basic and simple.
Chicken or Rabbit Alla Cacciatora
- Brown seasoned chicken (or rabbit) in oil and remove.
- Brown mushrooms (any type available) in the fat and oil in the same pot.
- Add garlic, rosemary and tomato. This isn’t a “red” sauce. The tomato is just there for moisture. You can use ½ cup of water instead. Return meat to pot.
- Raise heat and add red wine vinegar and cover and steam for 5 minutes.
- Add red wine, I use Chianti, and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.
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