AIP Paleo Chicken Cacciatore - Hunter's Chicken

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My husband's grandmother was from Spain and every time I'd cook chicken in tomato sauce he would say it reminded him of the smell coming from her kitchen when he was little. 

Well, I rarely cook with tomatoes now but wondered if a nightshade free tomato like sauce could help me recreate the classic Italian Chicken Cacciatore - or Hunter's Chicken - dish that we used to love so much, and that brought back so many lovely childhood memories for him. So I had a go. And yes. Yes it could. 

Chicken Cacciatore is chicken, or more traditionally rabbit - first pan-fried and then cooked in the oven in a tomato sauce with herbs, garlic, onions and peppers. This dish is nightshade-free, so it doesn't have any peppers or tomatoes, but it's really big on flavour. There are lots of veggies in this sauce, and it's actually quite hard to believe that you're not eating a rich tomato sauce. 

So this version of Hunter's Chicken is nightshade, seed, refined sugar, gluten and dairy-free. It's suitable for the autoimmune protocol and paleo diets. It's fantastic served with a fluffy pile of cauliflower and white sweet potato mash and some cooked cabbage alongside. 

You can use chicken thighs or the breast meat here. While I know that thighs have more flavour and are more suited to slower cooking, I actually prefer to make this with chicken breasts. They don't take as long to cook, and there are no fiddly bones to worry about when you're tucking into this stew. But, as always, it's up to you. I hope you like it.

By the way, if you're into AIP Italian recipes, you won't go far wrong with Ambra Torelli's ecookbook, The AIP Italian Cookbook, packed with recipes including lasagne, pizza and cannoli! Find out more here

AIP (autoimmune protocol compliant) Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4
1 tsp coconut oil
pinch of salt
4-6 chicken breasts or thighs (skin on)
half quantity of this nightshade free sauce (the richer your beef broth, the better)
1 tbsp capers (or use some pitted olives, black or green - if you have them handy)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

First, set your oven to gas mark 6/200ºC/400ºF. Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken, skin side down, in batches, so that the skin turns golden and begins to crisp. Turn over and fry the other side for a minute or two to seal the meat and then place on a plate. 

Pour the nightshade free sauce into the bottom of a square roasting dish - the kind you'd bake a lasagne in - and place the chicken pieces on top, skin side up. Sprinkle with the salt and the rosemary and dot the capers or olives (or both if you have them) between the pieces of chicken in the sauce. Slide into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is golden and fully cooked through. Serve with the sauce, and some of your favourite veggie mash and greens. 

Are you interested in paleo and AIP compliant curries, stir-fries, roasts, desserts and drinks? Check out my ebook SPICE, available to download in the Kindle store now, which contains over 90 recipes featuring herbs and spices on the autoimmune protocol.