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Howie Hart

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Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Howie Hart » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:58 am

Gary B's post on Eggplant Parmesan has me thinking in generalities. My impression has always been that the only difference between "Something" (eggplant, chicken, veal, etc.) Parmesan and "Something" Cacciatore is that the Parmesan is baked with a layer of cheese, while the Cacciatore is not. Is this a correct assumption? If I do Chicken Cacciatore, it will be with thighs and/or drumsticks, whereas if I do Chicken Parmesan I will use boneless, skinless breasts. I also tend to add more chunky stuff (mushrooms, peppers, etc.) to the sauce in Cacciatore.
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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by ChefCarey » Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:35 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Gary B's post on Eggplant Parmesan has me thinking in generalities. My impression has always been that the only difference between "Something" (eggplant, chicken, veal, etc.) Parmesan and "Something" Cacciatore is that the Parmesan is baked with a layer of cheese, while the Cacciatore is not. Is this a correct assumption? If I do Chicken Cacciatore, it will be with thighs and/or drumsticks, whereas if I do Chicken Parmesan I will use boneless, skinless breasts. I also tend to add more chunky stuff (mushrooms, peppers, etc.) to the sauce in Cacciatore.


Cacciatore (Cacciatoria) means "in the manner of the hunter" and is analogous to "Chasseur" in French. Most usually, the only implication is that there are mushrooms in the dish.
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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Howie Hart » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:05 pm

Thanks Chef! I guess that explains why I've never heard of "Eggplant Cacciatore". :shock:
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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Jenise » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:25 pm

Most usually, the only implication is that there are mushrooms in the dish.


Only implication, but not the only difference. Most cacciatores I've been served in my life were braised whole pieces, where " ____ Parmesan" involves starting with a breaded and pre-cooked item and assembling the dish on the plate or assembling and then baking it to a finish. IOW, basically no resemblance between the two dishes.
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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Paul B. » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:13 pm

Actually, Howie, I've never been too clear on the precise meaning of "cacciatore", notwithstanding the etymological origin of the word. I make a rabbit cacciatore that basically calls for browning the meat and stewing it in tomato sauce (which I also make from scratch) and parsely, some dry white wine, fresh green pepper and oregano. Then again, so many variations exist that it's no surprise that names of dishes can get a bit fluid at times.
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Gary Barlettano

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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Gary Barlettano » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:43 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Gary B's post on Eggplant Parmesan has me thinking in generalities.


Oh, Howie, I hope I didn't cause you a crisis of conscience. I'd never be able to forgive myself!

In my limited sphere of experience I can relate to the Chef's mushrooms, especially when I think of "Jägerschnitzel" where "Jäger" is the German equivalent of "cacciatore." It's just that the sauce in the German dishes is brown and not red. And Jenise has hit the nail on the head with the distinction between the two styles of preparation. They are indeed two completely different animals.

I also agree with you wholeheartedly (no pun intended) about the "chunky" stuff. When I think chicken cacciatore, I think whole mushrooms, cubed tomatoes, slivers of carrots, hunks of celery, nice big bits of bell pepper. It might not be genuine, but, heck, it tastes good. By the way, this is the one time I put onions into the mix when it comes to red sauce. You should try throwing in some hot Italian sausage along with the chicken, too!

I can see Paul B's rabbit, too, but when I lived in Italy my family fried rabbit pieces with whole cloves of garlic and chopped prosciutto in a scant bit of olive oil. Everything got nice and crispy and crusty. My mother didn't care to eat long-eared rats, so she used to make the same dish with chicken parts.
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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Howie Hart » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:06 pm

Thanks everyone for setting me straight. My confusion comes from a local restaurant that serves what they call Veal Cacciatore, but the veal is a breaded cutlet and the net result of what they serve is the same as Veal Parmesan, but without the cheese. I've done Chicken Cacciatore pretty much the way Gary describes, but I've never added carrots & celery; just whole mushrooms, red & green bell peppers, onion wedges, garlic, wine and diced tomatoes, all added to the skillet after browning the chicken in EVOO.
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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Bob Henrick » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:57 pm

Howie, I think I like your version of caccitore, sounds a lot like my wife's version..it needs some white wine though, about a cup or so of it.


Ooops, I see that you do add wine. do you use white or red?
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Re: Parmesan vs. cacciatore??

by Howie Hart » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:39 am

Red, Bob. Plus some herbs and seasonings and tomato paste to thicken it up a bit.

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