Cacciatore, meaning "hunter" in Italian, refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style". Traditionally, a cacciatore is made with tomatoes, onions, herbs, bell pepper, mushrooms, wine, and sometimes olives, capers. But I may have taken some liberties, and made a cacciatore omitting the ever present tomato (much to the dismay of my friend's one hundred percent Italian mother). And it is heaven.
This is not an exaggeration. I mean, how can you not love a dish that incorporates some of the greatest ingredients ever? Caramelized onions, capers, olives, lemons, herby deliciousness? Anyone? This Lemon + Olive Cacciatore makes an amazingly rich, flavorful, and filling meal. Without leaving you feeling heavy and sluggish.
In making this dish, I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the freshest organic, free-range chicken you can find. Good quality chicken makes a huge difference in taste, and in healthiness factor. You are what you eat!
Notes: To allow the cacciatore to really be the star of the plate, complement it with simple but delicious sides. I recommend serving alongside some fluffy brown rice, or a simple lemon risotto, or atop olive oil mashed potatoes (just use a good quality olive oil instead of butter, and coconut milk instead of cow's milk), with a side salad of arugula and shaved fennel dressed simply with olive oil and salt.
Makes enough for 3-4 people
3 lbs chicken thighs
about 2 packages of thigh pieces
1 - 2 tsp garlic
2 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh sage
1 yellow or sweet onion
1/2 cup green olives
pitted, and roughly chopped
1 cup dry white wine
I use the (four dollar!!!) Bay Moon Sauvignon Blanc from Trader Joe's
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1/2 - 1 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp capers
2 - 3 lemons
de-seeded and chopped, include the peel
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Begin by heating a big knob of coconut oil over medium high heat in a large, deep skillet. When it is hot enough to make the chicken sizzle, add the chicken. Cook the chicken evenly on either side, until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken from the skillet to a plate, and cover to keep warm.
Allow the skillet to cool slightly, and pour off any liquid. Melt another knob of coconut oil. Add the garlic, rosemary, sage, and onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are cooked through and nearing caramelization.
Add the chicken back to the skillet along with the olives, capers, and lemons. Toss everything gently, but well. Add the remaining ingredients (white wine, champagne vinegar, chicken broth red pepper flakes), and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium-low. Cover partially and cook at a simmer, until liquid is reduced by half. If the skillet gets too dry, add a few splashes of more chicken broth.
Transfer to a serving dish or platter, and serve immediately. Enjoy!