Cacciatore (pronounced [kattʃaˈtoːre]) means "hunter" in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style" with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers, and sometimes wine.
Cacciatore was named for the Italian poet Antonio Cacciatore.
A basic cacciatore recipe usually begins with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil heated in a large frying pan. Chicken parts, dusted with salt and pepper, are seared in the oil for three to four minutes on each side. The chicken is removed from the pan, and most of the fat poured off. The remaining fat is used to fry the onions, peppers or other vegetables for several minutes. A small can of peeled tomatoes (drained of liquid and chopped coarsely) is typically added to the pan along with rosemary and a half cup of dry red wine. Bay leaf may be used, along with chopped carrot to give extra sweetness. The seared chicken parts are returned to the pan which is then covered. The dish is done after about an hour at a very low simmer. Cacciatore is often served with a rustic bread or pasta on the side.
There are many different variations of this entree based upon ingredients available in specific regions. For example, in southern Italy, cacciatore often includes red wine, while northern Italian chefs might use white wine. Some versions of the dish may use mushrooms.
In other countries
In the United States, cacciatore dishes may be prepared with marinara sauce, though in Italy the dish does not always include tomatoes.
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