Planning to spoil Mum with a feast at home this Mother’s Day?

Cookbook author Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s simple variation on hunter’s stew, known as pollo alla cacciatora, should be your centrepiece dish. Made with tomatoes, large green olives and fragrant rosemary and bay, this is comfort food at its best.

“It is a straightforward dish that’s even better the next day. Serve it on a bed of polenta or simply with bread to mop up the juices.”

The stew will complement most side dishes, but if you need inspiration, you can also whip up Busuttil Nishimura’s gnocco fritto and blue cheese salad. It’s the ideal gesture for the mum who always says, “I don’t need a present.”

And if you’re looking for a wine pairing, Busuttil Nishimura recommends the 2020 Domaine de l’Agramante Cuvée “M’arricriu” from France’s Rhone Valley, available to order as part of her Broadsheet Wine box until May 5. She says the complete box of six wines is “perfect for a Mother’s Day feast”.

“They’re all really approachable and easy-drinking wines, which is great for a slow Sunday lunch [with the family].”

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s hunter’s chicken stew
Serves 4–6

Ingredients:
1 x 1.2kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Sea salt
100g (2/3 cup) plain flour
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
20g unsalted butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine 1 fresh bay leaf
400g canned whole peeled tomatoes
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
100g whole green olives

Method:
Season the chicken with salt, then dredge lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan or cast-iron pot over a medium heat and brown the chicken in batches until golden on all sides. Set aside.

Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and celery. Gently fry for around 10 minutes, and when the onion begins to turn golden, add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Pour in the wine, scraping up any brown bits left over from frying the chicken. Add the rosemary, bay leaf, tomatoes and chicken stock, and break up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Increase the heat to medium, and as the liquid starts to simmer, return the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the liquid.

Simmer over a medium–low heat for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the stew has thickened. Scatter over the olives and cook for a few minutes more, then season to taste and serve.

This is an edited extract from A Year of Simple Family Food, published by Plum and available for $39.99.

julia-ostro.com