The flavors of Italy vary greatly. Each region places it’s own signature on the cuisine and these differences are influenced by many factors. Location, history, customs of other cultures, weather and of course seasonal foods. I am on a quest to discover Italy.
The dish I have chosen today is Pollo alla cacciatora. A simple, traditional dish with a few nuances in nearly all regions of Italy.
It has an intense tomato and red wine sauce that is flavored with fragrant rosemary and juniper. ~ Filippo Trapella
To make this sauce “extra” bold, Filippo Trapella suggests braising the meat with red wine.
Pollo alla cacciatora
- 1 chicken, skin-on, jointed
- 1 white onion, sliced into thin half-rings
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 500ml of passata, a little over 2 cups
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, triple-concentrated
- 1 glass of red wine, 270ml, a little over a cup
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 juniper berries, crushed
- black pepper
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a stainless steel or enamel pan, over medium heat. Pan-fry chicken in batches, browning all over. Set aside and cover.
- Pour red wine in pan and deglaze, scraping meat from bottom of pan. Simmer 5 minutes and set reduction aside.
- Add remaining oil to hot pan, fry onion, juniper berries and rosemary until onions are translucent.
- Add chicken and tomato paste to pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Increase heat, add red wine reduction, cooking for additional 5 minutes and stir in pasta.
- Cover and gently stew over low heat, 1 hour.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve with a thick crusty bread, white rice or polenta. We are pairing this delicious pasta dish with Tenuta Boncore Negroamaro 2013
My quest to discover Italy goes deeper than just cuisine. I am currently sampling wines from the winegrowing region of Salento and the recipe above is chosen based on Southern Italian foods. Wines from the prevalent local grape Negroamara are characterized by lovely fruity aromas, full body, round tannins and great balance.
I have been inspired to explore regional cuisines of the world by a wine club I have joined, VinoVersal.com I will spend two more weeks exploring Southern Italian foods and will visit different cities and work with local chefs to create authentic, regional cuisine to nibble on while sampling the wines of Salento, Italy. I would love to have you join me!
As we move deeper in to June we will embark on a new “journey”and taste wines from a different country. If you would like us to visit your city, please leave your comments below!