Cockerel Forest Cacciatore by David Dellai & Alex Tintori




20 mins


160 mins

Cacciatore is Italian for hunter and pollo alla cacciatore is chicken hunter style. It’s a dish made everyday in Italy and traditionally done with the firmer, stronger flavoured cockerel. Chef David Dellai and Chef Alex Tintori added a few flavours of the forest to this special version.


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Porcini Sauce

  • 50 gm dried porcini, chopped
  • 1.25 l brown chicken stock
  • 25 gm wakame or dried nori



  • 40 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onions
  • 75 gm button mushroom, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salted capers, rinsed and drained
  • 15 g grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • 100g salt
  • few sprigs rosemary
  • 25g butter to fry
  • olive oil to fry


Part 1: Prepare Porcini Sauce

Step 1: Soak Porcini

  • Place porcini in a bowl and cover well with cold water.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step 2: Drain Porcini and Make Broth

  • The next day, drain the porcini liquid into a large pot.
  • Reserve half of the porcini for the farce.
  • Add the remaining porcini to the pot with brown chicken stock and wakame.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for several hours until the liquid reduces to about a cup.

Step 3: Make the Brine

  • In a small pot over high heat, combine salt and rosemary with 1 litre of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.


Part 2: Prepare Cockerel Legs

Step 4: Prepare Cockerel Legs

  • Remove the legs, head, and neck from the cockerel.
  • Remove the thighs with a sharp knife cutting through the thigh joint, being careful not to cut into the skin of the breast.
  • Bone out the legs by laying them skin down and slicing along the length of the thigh and drumstick bones.
  • Using the tip of the knife cut the flesh away from the bone and joints. Do not cut the skin.
  • Remove the bones, flatten the legs out by pressing down with the heel of your palm then brine the flesh for 20 minutes in the brine.
  • Drain the legs and lay out on plastic film skin side down. Wrap the legs tightly in a cylinder shape.
  • Sous vide at 65°C for 2 hours.
  • Alternatively, double-wrap the legs in plastic film and gently cook over a very low flame for 40 minutes. Remove and cool in an ice bath.


Part 3: Make Farce and Stuff Cockerel Breasts

Step 5: Prepare Farce

  • Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Sauté onions for five minutes or until translucent.
  • Add mushrooms and the remaining porcini, and cook for 5-10 minutes until they have released their liquid and it has begun to be reabsorbed.
  • Place in a small blender with capers and parmesan. Blitz into a paste, but not a puree.
  • Season to taste.
  • Using a spatula remove the paste and place it in a piping bag. Set aside.

Step 6: Stuff Cockerel Breasts

  • Remove the wings and wishbone from the cockerel breasts.
  • Using your finger gently lift the skin from the breast meat.
  • Using the piping bag of farce, put the stuffing under the breast.
  • Place the cockerel breasts in a roasting tray and let them set for an hour in the fridge, uncovered.


Part 4: Roast Cockerel and Serve

Step 7: Roast Cockerel and Finish Dish

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan.
  • Make sure there is space between the cockerels and place them in the oven.
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • While breasts are roasting, remove the legs from the cling film and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Brown with oil and butter in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
  • Reheat the porcini sauce.
  • Once breasts are roasted, remove them and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully carve the breasts off the frame while it’s still hot. Remove the breast of the main frame of the cockerel, ensuring not to damage the skin.
  • Carve the breasts and leg meat into attractive portions.
  • Serve with sautéed spinach, dried black olives, and finish with the porcini sauce.

Enjoy your delicious Cockerel Forest Cacciatore!

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