A real homely, rustic Italian-inspired casserole, this is perfect for these lovely crisp Autumnal days. Hearty and flavoursome, the dish really benefits from the addition of anchovies, which just add a real depth of flavour rather than anything fishy and there is something gloriously comforting about the aroma of garlic filling the kitchen as this recipe for Hunter’s Chicken cooks itself: a regular in our house.
What you need…
2kg chicken thigh fillets
Sea salt and black pepper
8 bay leaves
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 fat garlic cloves, chopped
¾ bottle Chianti red wine
Plain flour, for dusting
6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
A handful of pitted black olives
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
What to do…
The evening before you want to eat it, tip the rosemary, bay leaves, 2 cloves of the garlic, chicken and Chianti into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, cover and pop into the fridge over night, allowing the flavours to develop.
Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the marinade. Set the marinade aside and then pat dry the chicken pieces on kitchen paper.
In a carrier bag, chuck in flour, salt and pepper and then the chicken thighs. Twist the top of the carrier bag tight and shake the contents, ensuring that flour and seasoning dust all of each of the chicken pieces.
Heat a big frying pan, add a splash of oil and fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over. Put into an ovenproof casserole together with the rosemary and bay leaves from the marinade and set side.
Using the same frying pan, add another splash of oil and gently fry the remaining garlic cloves with the anchovies until the garlic is just turning golden and the anchovies are starting to break up. Add the tomatoes, olives and marinade. Bring to the boil and transfer to your casserole dish, submerging the chicken pieces in this lovely sauce.
Cover with a double thickness of foil or a lid and pop in the oven for 1 hour.
Serve with some form of greenery and perhaps potato. We however, like great doorstops of fresh, warm bread to mop up the delicious sauce. Oh, and don’t forget more Chianti to accompany this fine rustic dish! Very yummy.
Really easy and absolutely delicious,