Pollo alla Cacciatora con Olive Nere

Chicken, the hunter’s way, with black olives

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

  • About


The chicken, tender and weighing about 1 kilo ( lb), is jointed, then chopped into pieces of the same size – on the small side. These are fried in a heavy pan in olive oil in which 3 crushed but unpeeled cloves of garlic and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and some leaves of mountain sage (Salvia sclarea) have first been simmered.

When the pieces are golden, 2 peeled tomatoes are crushed in the pan, salt and a glass of white wine are added, and in this very scarce sauce the chicken cooks more slowly, covered, until most of the liquor is absorbed and the pieces are tender (10 minutes for frying, and 15 minutes once the wine is put in). During the last few minutes a dozen luscious black olives, unstoned, are put into the pan.

Served on a white oval dish with the olives and the scarce sauce, which is passed through a strainer, or should be, to eliminate the aromatics. In fact, in the Osteria da Rizieri, both the rosemary and the thyme, indeed also the garlic, put in an appearance in the dish.

While preparing this, the padrona brought a plate of mountain coppa and mortadella into the vine arbour, coppa being smoked loin of pork in sausage form, the colour of port wine, and mortadella a coarsely ground farmhouse pork sausage, slightly smoked and flavoured with whole peppercorns. The meal finished with pecorino cheese made in the vicinity, a fresh ewe’s cheese served with summer pears.