Italy is renowned for its delicious cuisine, and one classic Italian recipe that shouldn’t be missed is Pollo alla Cacciatora. This rustic dish, also known as Hunter’s Chicken, is a flavorful and comforting meal that combines tender chicken with rich flavors of tomatoes, herbs, and red wine. It’s the perfect dish to warm you up on a chilly evening and pair with a glass of red wine.
To make Pollo alla Cacciatora, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4 chicken leg quarters, skin-on and bone-in
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
First, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Season the chicken leg quarters with salt and pepper. In a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides, then remove from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the diced onion, minced garlic, sliced bell pepper, and sliced carrot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, red wine, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
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The addition of red wine adds depth and richness to the sauce. If you find that the wine is too dry for your taste, you can sweeten it slightly by adding a small amount of honey. This will balance the flavors and enhance the overall taste of the dish.
Return the browned chicken leg quarters to the skillet, placing them on top of the vegetable and tomato mixture. Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
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If you’re new to cooking with wine, you may be wondering what to do if you don’t have red wine on hand or if you prefer not to use it in your recipes. In this case, you can substitute the red wine with chicken or vegetable broth. While the flavor will be slightly different, it will still result in a delicious and satisfying meal.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve the Pollo alla Cacciatora hot, garnished with freshly chopped parsley. This dish pairs perfectly with crusty bread or pasta, allowing you to soak up every last bit of the flavorful sauce.
Pairing with Red Wine
To truly complete the experience, it’s essential to pair Pollo alla Cacciatora with the right red wine. The rich flavors of the dish call for a medium-bodied red wine with good acidity and tannins. A classic Italian red wine such as Chianti or Sangiovese would be an excellent choice. Both wines complement the savory flavors of the chicken and enhance the overall dining experience.
Chianti is known for its bright cherry flavors and earthy undertones, making it a fantastic companion to Pollo alla Cacciatora. Sangiovese, on the other hand, offers a slightly more robust and herbaceous profile, adding complexity to the dish. Both wines have enough acidity to cut through the richness of the sauce and provide a refreshing balance.
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Decanting red wine can help to enhance its flavors and aromas, allowing it to fully open up. If you want to take your wine pairing experience to the next level, consider decanting your chosen red wine before serving it with Pollo alla Cacciatora. This will ensure that you release all the nuances and complexities of the wine, making it an even more enjoyable accompaniment to this classic Italian dish.
Pollo alla Cacciatora is a delicious and satisfying dish that combines the flavors of tender chicken with a rich tomato and red wine sauce. This classic Italian recipe is the perfect comfort food and pairs exceptionally well with a glass of red wine. Whether you choose a Chianti or Sangiovese, the wine will enhance the flavors of the dish and create a truly memorable dining experience.
When it comes to pairing Pollo alla Cacciatora with red wine, both Chianti and Sangiovese are excellent choices. These medium-bodied red wines complement the savory flavors of the dish and provide a refreshing balance. The bright cherry flavors of Chianti and the herbaceous profile of Sangiovese add depth and complexity to the meal, elevating it to new heights.