Chicken, guinea fowl and pork stew

Chicken, guinea fowl and pork stew

Scottiglia

By
From
Acquacotta
Serves
4
Photographer
Emiko Davies; Lauren Bamford

The wonderful flavour of scottiglia comes from its medley of meats, but also from the bone-in cuts used. There are many versions to be found in Maremma, many of which involve cooking these in a tomato sauce – sometimes just enough for adding a hint of colour, sometimes enough to swim in, a little like a cacciatora ‘hunter’s’ stew. But I adore this version in bianco, without tomato, and I imagine this is what it would have been like before the sixteenth century, when tomatoes found their way into Italian kitchens.

This is my favourite combination – chicken, guinea fowl and pork – but you can use any meat for scottiglia. It’s usually made with white meat, which might also include rabbit or turkey, but you’ll see it with lamb or even wild boar.

Tuscan gastronome Aldo Santini likens scottiglia to Livorno’s cacciucco (much like Argentario’s Caldaro) in that it’s an economical miscellany of meats aimed at bulking out the meal with what’s available (possibly also leftovers). It was once cooked out in the open, in a large cauldron – not unlike the caldaro, where the meat was cooked in order of toughest to most delicate. It was a main meal. The only meal. Where bread was used to sop up the delicious juices and to help fill hungry bellies, and glasses of red wine were obligatory accompaniments.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg mixed meat, (such as chicken, guinea fowl and pork neck)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 whole garlic cloves
3 rosemary sprigs
1 handful sage leaves
2 bay leaves
750ml dry white wine
chilli flakes or chopped fresh red chilli, (optional)

Method

  1. Chop the meat into large chunks and season them with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wide, deep casserole pot over high heat and brown the meat, in batches, until evenly coloured on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes for each batch.
  3. With the last batch, return the rest of the meat to the pan and add the garlic and herbs, along with a pinch of salt. Pour over the wine and add the chilli (if using). Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low. Cook for 1 hour, turning the meat every 10 minutes or so. The meat should be tender and the wine reduced to a thick sauce. You can top up with a splash of water, or even vegetable stock, if needed during cooking.
  4. Serve on top of polenta (a soft, creamy polenta) or with grilled (broiled) crusty bread, possibly rubbed with garlic, along with plenty of the pan juices.
Tags:
Italian
Tuscany
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