With the amazing produce in Italy, Priya and I tore ourselves away from the amazing restaurants to cook a meal in our little cottage near San Gimignano. The owners of the cottage had kindly given us a bottle of their home made olive oil, bits and all, which we put to good use in the pasta and the cacciatore. I began by preparing the chicken, which was one of the tastiest I have ever eaten. They all have the yellow tinge to the skin and are much smaller. To save money I recommend jointing the chicken yourself, this gives you a tastier final dish as the bones are left in and allows for more variety than just breasts or thighs. Search for a video clip on how to joint a chicken, it’s simple, but I recommend a large, sharp knife to get through the bones and skin, working out of a small kitchen the knives were terrible, but I made do. I also cut up an onion, fennel and garlic, leaving everything quite big for a rustic final product, it also helps prevent the vegetables from breaking up as everything is simmered for about 30 minutes.
When the onion and garlic had cooked down I de-glazed the pan with white wine and reduced it by two thirds. Then added all of the other ingredients, including the tomato sauce we had made earlier for the pasta. The other ingredients added were fennel, black olives,thyme, salt and pepper.
If the produce isn’t as tasty as we had, spoiled for choice, in Italy, you could add some chicken stock and reduce it down. We then simmered the cacciatore until the chicken and vegetables were tender, about 30 minutes. Serve with some crusty bread to soak up the beautiful sauce.