Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Italian lemon chicken: Pollo alla Cacciatora

on June 18, 2012

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This is utterly delicious. If you don’t cook anything else – cook this. It’s super easy too, and could be done on a week night easily enough. It’s also bikini diet friendly at 475 calories. High in protein, no carbs and fully of zesty flavour. The skin gives it more flavour and keeps it juicy, but if you are really panicking at the sight of your cellulite, then take it off to reduce the calories and fat.

The recipe comes from my Italian Comfort Food cookbook by Julia Della Croce. I’m not sure I actually altered the recipe by much at all – I added in less wine and olive oil than the recipe suggested and used a smaller chicken, but apart from that, it’s pretty much the same. I used a whole chicken as the recipe suggests – this is actually a pretty cheap option considering the price of whole chickens compared to buying thighs or breasts, and I made chicken soup out of the what was left on the carcass – so that’s lunches sorted for a couple of days – bargain!

But if you prefer, you can do this with drumstick and thighs or breasts. You can do a leg and thigh per person or a breast and drumstick per person.

I have capers so I used them and they do add to the tart flavour, but if you don’t have them it doesn’t matter too much, just leave them out. You can also leave out the chilli flakes if you’re wanting a mild flavour – but to be honest they don’t really make it spicy, just add to the overall zesty tartness.

Italian Lemon Chicken

Serves 4

  • 1 small-medium sized chicken (about 1.3 – 1.7kg) or chicken pieces to the same amount
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • handful of chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
  • handful of chopped fresh sage, or 2 tsp dried
  • 60g green olives, drained and sliced
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, 1 finely sliced into rounds, the other pips removed and finely chopped (both with rind on)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cut the whole chicken up into legs, wings, breasts and anything else you can get off the carcass. Then make chicken stock from the carcass. Heat the oil in a large high sided pan and when its hot add the chicken pieces and fry on both sides until browned.
  2. Remove the chicken and drain on kitchen towel. Pour off all but about 1 tbsp of the oil. Allow to cool (until it stops smoking).
  3. Then on a low heat, add the onion, garlic, rosemary and sage, frying until the onion is translucent but not browned.
  4. Add the chicken pieces back in, along with the olives. Carefully stir to mix.
  5. Next add the wine, vinegar, lemons, and chilli flakes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer and partially cover for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add water if it becomes too dry.
  6. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add as needed.
  7. Serve immediately with new potatoes, mash or hunks of farmhouse bread. Or just have on its own
  8. Enjoy the zesty flavours 🙂

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