The originally Tuscan dish called pollo alla cacciatora has been a part of my family repertoire as long as I can remember. When I prepare it, I am invariably reminded of growing up in the northern Italian countryside — years that proved formative in more ways than I can describe in an introduction to preparing a stew. Suffice it to say that being surrounded by Renaissance villas helped to make me the (hopeless) romantic that I am today. And just exactly what this has to do with a baked chicken is quite simple – it’s perfectly logical I promise.
My senses are triggered by the perfume of rosemary and tomatoes. Their aroma remind me not only of Italy but also bring back important memories of my childhood. This is what home cooking does — it connects the past with the present. If recipes tell the stories of our lives as I believe they do, the food story below carries a diary of unwritten personal history along with its cooking instructions. It is also my answer to winter’s supper.
Like any good food baked in a pot, pollo alla cacciatora also known as hunter style chicken takes time. Fortunately, waiting around the stove is not a part of the cooking process. After a bit of cutting and chopping — something I find quite relaxing — the oven does the work of mingling flavors and textures all by itself.