Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore is one of those recipes that we always thoroughly enjoy but just do not make often enough. I love chicken no matter how it is prepared, and my husband loves polenta so when I prepare this dish I always serve it on creamy polenta for him. You can use a whole cut up chicken, chicken legs, or any mix of chicken pieces you prefer.

I like to use chicken thighs as they always remain moist and tender. You can use either bone in or boneless thighs, but do remove the skin before browning. This dish is very hearty and so comforting, it is perfect on a cold winter day.

Tender, succulent chicken pieces are cooked in this robust tomato sauce in this easy Italian classic poultry dish. Serve alongside Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or on a bed of Soft Polenta along with a sautéed green vegetable such as Broccoli Rabe Or Spinach.

Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian, and when referring to Italian cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions, herbs, perhaps sweet peppers, and sometimes wine. Cacciatore is most often made with braised chicken or rabbit.

There are many different variations of this dish based upon ingredients available in specific regions. For example, in southern Italy, cacciatore often includes red wine, while in northern Italy white wine may be used.

I make this dish often in my cast iron dutch oven pot and play around with the recipe depending on my mood. My old recipe did not contain olives, but I found I really enjoy the piquancy they provide so I usually include some good quality flavorful olives in my cacciatore now.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Chicken braised in a zesty tomato sauce goes well with mashed potatoes, soft polenta, or even buttered pasta.


  • 3 Pound Chicken, Cut Into 8 Pieces, or 6 to 8 Chicken Thighs (See Notes Above)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Celery Stalk, Chopped
  • 4 oz. Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 1 Red Sweet Pepper, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 (28 oz) Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pinch Of Red Pepper Flakes

Optional But Encouraged:

  • 1 Cup Pitted Flavorful Olives


  1. Remove the skin and trim any fat from each of the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and brown the chicken pieces well on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside.
    Add the onions, garlic, celery, and mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine to the pan and cook over high heat scraping up the browned bits from the bottom until the wine has reduced by half.
  5. Add the tomatoes, broth, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper, and pepper flakes.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and return the chicken to the pot.
  7. Cover, and then simmer the chicken for 1 1/2 to 2 hours
  8. Add the olives, cook a few minutes then serve on polenta or alongside mashed potatoes, and enjoy.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 pieces chicken with sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 911Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 320mgSodium: 695mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 84g

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