Chicken Hunter-style: Pollo alla Cacciatora
- 1 roaster chicken, about 5 to 6 pounds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 branch fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced
- Salt and pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound portobello mushrooms, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 pound tomato puree
- 1 cup chicken stock, recipe follows
- Pinch sugar
- Pinch red chili flakes
- Brown Chicken Stock:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
- 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bunch parsley stems
Cut chicken into 8 pieces.
Combine the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and enough olive oil to make a somewhat dry paste. Divide the paste evenly among the 8 pieces and let sit, covered and refrigerated, for 2 hours.
In a Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until smoking. Brush the excess rub from the bird and sear each piece of meat on all sides in the hot oil. Remove seared meat to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onions, the mushrooms and the pancetta and cook over high heat until onions are golden brown and fat has been rendered from pancetta. Drain the excess oil, then add the wine and stir the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned bits. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, sugar and chili flakes and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan. Cook for 20 minutes, covered, then 15 to 20 minutes more, uncovered. Remove from heat, cut each quarter in half, and divide meat evenly among 4 warmed dinner plates, giving each plate 1 section of breast and 1 section of leg. Top with the sauce and serve immediately.Brown Chicken Stock:
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add all the chicken parts and brown all over, stirring to avoid burning. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 3 quarts of water, the tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned chicken and vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours, occasionally skimming excess fat. Remove from heat, strain, and press on the solids with the bottom of a ladle to extract out all liquids. Stir the stock to facilitate cooling and set aside. Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
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