A few years ago my husband and I met up in France where I was travelling with a girlfriend and we had a very romantic trip through Italy. It was a wonderful trip from which I hold many lovely memories but my most enduring memory is the stunning Italian scenery and my catch cry of “beautiful” whenever I gazed upon the incredible views.
We stayed in the old part of Florence for several days, visiting the galleries and the churches and enjoying many a good meal. Aron enjoyed a traditional Florence Steak and it was here he started his Tiramisu ‘crawl’!
I loved the terracotta rooftops, the vista from the Duomo and the food markets, to name just a few highlights. Of the food we ate there I particularly enjoyed a chicken dish I had one night in a small trattoria close to where we were staying near the Uffizi Gallery.
I recreated this dish on my return home and this is my version of that special meal I enjoyed that hot summer evening in Florence. It is based on Chicken Cacciatore or ‘Hunters Chicken’, with the lovely herbs, juniper berries chilli and olives which form it’s base. It is light but full of flavour & it’s also such an easy dish to make.
What food inspiration have you taken back home from your holidays?
A rustic country chicken dish
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic pealed and cut in half
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- 1 tbsp Fresh Sage leaves
- 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary striped from stem
- pinch Chilli flakes
- Tuscan Seasoning 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp fresh thyme, 1 tsp fresh rosemary, 1 garlic clove, pinch chilli flakes, 1 tsp juniper berries - all ground in mortar and pestle
- 1 cup Dry White Wine
- 3/4 cup Black Olives Pitted
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 420g Tin crushed tomatoes
- 180g Artichoke hearts Cooked - jar or tin
- 1/2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Water
Heat half (1.5 tbsp) of olive oil in heavy based pan
Add the onions, whole cut garlic, sage leaves and rosemary. Cook until fragrant but not coloured.
Add chilli flakes stir through and remove the mixture from the pan
Season the chicken with the Tuscan seasoning
Add the remaining oil in the pan (1.5 tbsp)
Over a low to medium heat brown the drumsticks
Return the onion mix to the pan with the chicken
Increase the heat, add the wine to the pan and cook until reduced.
Reduce the heat and add the tomato paste, olives, crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar & artichoke hearts.
Add the water and cook for 30 mins over a low heat until chicken is cooked through
Check seasoning and adjust to taste