Seeing as chef Mario Batali is well-versed in Rome's culinary vocabulary (his N.Y.C. restaurant Lupa specializes in the city's cuisine), it comes as no surprise that his dish of choice is a bit tricky to pronounce. While it doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily as pizza or pasta (though Batali does enjoy a good cacio e pepe), his favorite Roman dish is a slightly lesser known—but equally delicious—Italian classic: chicken cacciatore.
For the uninitiated, cacciatore (pronounced catch-chee-ah-tor-ay) refers to a "hunter-style" method of cooking in which the meat, vegetables (onions, mushrooms, and celery, in this case), and herbs slowly simmer in a single pot (the Michele Varian one pictured above is the perfect size, $162; michelevarian.com). Batali's recipe stays true to the Northern Italian tradition of using white wine, but adds marinara sauce, because, well, why not? Read on for the full breakdown. Buon appetito!
Makes 4 servings
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
1 3-lb whole chicken
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary (from about 2 sprigs)
1/2 cup plus 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb portobello mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz pancetta, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large yellow onions, roughly chopped
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
1. Using a sharp knife or poultry shears, separate chicken into 8 pieces: 2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 drumsticks. Pat chicken pieces dry.
2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, salt, black pepper, rosemary, and 3 tbsp of the oil; stir to make a paste (add 1 more tbsp of oil if the mixture is too dry); rub evenly over chicken pieces. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
3. Heat remaining oil in a Dutch oven over high heat until smoking. Working in batches, cook chicken pieces in a single layer, turning to brown all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate lined with paper towels.
4. Add mushrooms, pancetta, celery, and onions to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and pancetta is rendered, about 8 minutes. Drain oil from the pot.
5. Add marinara sauce and wine; stir to loosen browned bits from the bottom of pot. Add stock, sugar, and crushed red pepper; bring to a boil. Return chicken pieces to pot, reduce heat to medium heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Then uncover pot, reduce heat to medium, and cook 15-20 minutes more. Sprinkle and parsley and serve.