Full of old fashioned Italian flavor, Chicken Cacciatora
Maddalena is a new family favorite.
Don’t you love really old cookbooks? We do. We pick them up at
garage sales, antique stores, thrift shops, anywhere we find them cheaply priced. We recently bought a copy of a
1955 cookbook called The Italian Cookbook by Maria Louisa
Taglient (Yes, another cookbook. We are still cataloging my collection. Hard to do when it is large and still
growing…J) Anyway, Glenn
was flipping through it and he was intrigued with this recipe, so we decided to try it right away.
We normally test a recipe more than once. We test an
interesting recipe exactly as written to see how we like it, then test it further to tweak or change it as we would
prefer the finished product to taste.
We tried this recipe for Chicken Cacciatora Maddalena and
absolutely loved it. We couldn’t think of a thing that we would change, except for the instructions. The
instructions of the original sautés the vegetables together first, then adds the chicken to the mixture to brown.
That never seems to work for us, because chicken doesn’t like to brown when there is too much moisture in the pan
(other than oil). That is why you should always pat meat dry after rinsing it, so that there isn’t too much
moisture when you want to brown it. So we reversed the instructions to brown the chicken first, then removed the
chicken from the pan and keep it warm while sautéing the vegetables. It’s all shown in the instructions
We didn’t have an entire chicken at home, so rather than make
a trip to the store, we substituted chicken thighs. We prefer thighs when cooking on the stove anyway, since it
tends to stay more moist.
At the first bite we took, Glenn and I looked at each other
and said “Wow, this is great!" This is a recipe we will use many times. We hope you are as happy with this recipe
as we were.
lbs. chicken, cut up into serving pieces or
cup olive oil
small onion, minced
clove garlic, minced
small bay leaves
cup dry white wine (we used a Pinot
tablespoons white wine
salt and pepper
1.Add about half of the olive oil to a flat pan with at least 2” tall
sides. Any high-sided skillet with a lid will work. Heat oil over medium high heat. Salt and pepper
the chicken pieces and add them to the skillet, browning on all sides. Remove the browned chicken
from the pan and keep warm, leaving the oil and juices in the pan.
2.Turn heat down to medium. Pour the rest of the oil in the pan. Place
the minced onion, chopped parsley and celery and minced garlic in the oil and sauté gently until
onion is golden in color.
3.Add the bay leaves, rosemary,
wine and vinegar to the pan and gently mix with the ingredients in the pan, making sure to scrape
up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add chicken back to the pan, skin side up to keep it more
crisp. Make sure the chicken is nestled into the veggie mix in the pan.
4.Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 35 to 45 minutes
until the chicken is cooked through. Add water if needed to keep liquid in the pan. When done,
serve chicken with pan sauce over the top.