It’s a Chicken Cacciatore Kind of Day!

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chicken cacciatore

It’s another frigid day here in Chicago, brutally cold weather with wind chill warnings, school closings and Artic air! You don’t have to convince me to stay inside. It’s definitely a comfort food kind of day, so a nice pot of slow cooked and braised Chicken Cacciatore it is!
fixings for chicken cacciatore Once the initial few steps are done, the browning of the chicken, sautéing your vegetables, deglazing, adding in your tomatoes, you can sit back for a couple of hours and let all the aromas fill your kitchen with comfort and warmth.

Chicken Cacciatore is a classic Italian dish also referred to as hunter’s stew, I make it a few times during the fall when the weather starts to turn and of course winter, and I just realized today that I never posted it on my blog, so here it is!

Carrots, onions, garlic, yellow and red peppers, assorted mushrooms, olives, spices, herbs, tomatoes and wine when slow cooked and reduced makes the most delicious sauce to soak into your chicken and the bonus is, it tastes just as good if not better the next day!

chicken cacciatoreA mixture of crimini and shiitake mushrooms add nice texture and flavor to the sauce as well as oregano, basil, parsley and thyme.

chicken cacciatore This is rustic food, family style, hearty and oh so satisfying! Boil up some pasta to soak up those juices or a nice creamy polenta.

chicken cacciatore Maybe some warm crusty bread? Either way I can assure you this dish is amazing and one of my family’s absolute favorites.

chicken cacciatore

Mangia! Mangia!

Chicken Cacciatore
  • 1 whole chicken, bone-in,skin on and each breast cut in half for smaller pieces
  • 8oz. mixed mushrooms, like crimini and shiitake
  • 1 onion, diced medium
  • 1 small yellow and red pepper, diced medium
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, shaved
  • pitted kalamata olives, a large handful
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz. can of tiny whole tomatoes or if not available just whole tomatoes.
  • Assorted herbs, parsley, basil, oregano and thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Season chicken with salt, pepper and sprinkled oregano.
  2. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet, drizzled with olive oil.
  3. Place chicken skin side down and do not move it until it reaches a deep golden brown and it's easy to turn, brown other side for a few minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Add vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, a few twigs of thyme, saute for 5 minutes.
  5. Add wine and let it reduce.
  6. Add chicken broth and tomatoes.
  7. Toss in 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and chopped fresh basil.
  8. Place the chicken back into the pan and sink into the juices.
  9. Simmer on low, stove top, for a couple of hours or until chicken falls off the bone. Uncovered.
  10. Garnish with fresh parsley.
  11. Serve with cooked pasta, polenta or warm crusty bread.
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  1. We’re having a 4 day family gathering in June to celebrate my husband’s 80th Birthday. We expect 16 people late afternoon so I’ve offered to prep the first dinner and i thought this dish with a big salad and crusty bread, perhaps some pasta would be perfect. My problem is that other than a rather lightweight and tall pot that I use for boiling corn or clams, etc, I don’t have anything large enough for the stovetop to cook the whole dish at the same time. I do have two large glass lasagne dishes. So could I cook it in the oven once all ingrdients are pan cooked, and if so at what temperature for how long. Also I’d like to make it the day ahead. Should I cook it partially on day one and finish the next day? Again guidance on temperature and time would be so helpful. Thank you

    • Yes Christina you can definitely cook it off in the oven, you can even use a large disposable aluminum pan. I would do at 375 with a loosely covered sheet of foil on top. Depending how much chicken you have, and how filled the pan is it’s going to take a good hour or more.I would keep checking. The chicken needs to be fall of the bone tender. Definitely make it all the day before, it even tastes better the next day. I would heat it up slowly at 350. Happy 80th to your husband!

  2. This was awesome. Used thighs and drums and flour and fried first. Other than that followed recipe. Family loved it and we enjoyed the leftovers too.

  3. Tried this recipe last year and I’ve been making it ever since! It’s my go-to comfort food recipe and one of the first I recommend to friends looking to try a new recipe.
    Many thanks! Ciao ciao!

  4. About how many people will this recipe serve?

    • Well if you’re using 1 chicken, 3 or 4 maybe, especially if you’re serving polenta or pasta with it, maybe 2 pieces per person Nicole

  5. Kate Lennon says

    I don’t have a big skillet, could a large saucepan be okay? I’m also wondering if some chicken breast and thigh pieces are okay instead of a whole chicken? I might serve with mashed potato!
    Thank you, this sounds delicious!

  6. I love you.

    Is that appropriate?

    I don’t care. I love you. Times a million. Because is the absolute BEST chicken cacciatore I’ve EVER had. It had my chef husband about to pass-out from a food coma. My picky toddler ate every single bite. I was eating it cold out of the fridge. I will probably dream about this recipe every night from now on. I didn’t make any substitutions whatsoever, I even broke down a whole chicken for the first time ever. I reduced the wine so much that it was super sweet and not alcoholic at all. The depth of flavor is just…unbelievable. No words.

    I was a vegetarian for two years and this is the first thing I made to “break” back into the meat-eating world. I am NOT disappointed. Love this so much, thank you! Can’t wait to feed this to my extended family for family dinner 🙂 1 billion + stars to you!

  7. Can’t wait to make this! However, I don’t have a cast iron skillet – I know I can’t get the amazing seasoning of a cast iron without it but will the recipe work in a regular skillet besides? Thank you!

  8. Marie-you still got it! Hope you’re doing great!
    Johnny T

  9. Looks delicious. Could you recommend a white wine ?

  10. maureen levin says

    can you do this in a crockpot

    • I’ve never done it in a crock pot but I don’t see why not as long as the chicken stays in tact and doesn’t start coming off the bones from cooking too long.

  11. Marie: I recently saw this recipe for Chicken Cacciatore and I must say it is delicious.
    It was a big hit with my whole family. A definite keeper.
    Thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipes.
    Your recipes make my family very happy.


  12. Just made this tonight as written. Wow! Delicious! Served over polenta. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  13. Just served this for my church community group and there was not one bit left. The sauce was a bit thin so I thickened it with ground up porridge oats. Will definitely make agajn

  14. Sorry to ask again but I just put everything in for the two hours and I’m worried there is too much liquid. Will this all reduce down?

  15. i will be making this tomorrow. Is 1 uk cup the same? and am i ok to use all chircken thighs?

  16. Hello!
    I was exposed to some great Cacciatore in a neighborhood restaurant growing up, but had never tried to make it myself. I could never find a recipe that triggered the right response from my memory bank saying “THAT”S IT!!”. Well, I found your recipe yesterday and made it last night. IT WAS PERFECT! I can wait to take the leftovers to my parents’ house today. My Dad will love it! Thanks!

  17. This looks great. I do have a question though. I don’t have any wine or canned tomatoes. I do have some Roma tomatoes that I’m sure I can work with, but what do I do about not having wine? What can I substitute? Thanks so much!

    • Hmmm, I never made it without wine, you could just leave it out alltogether, but not using canned tomatoes the sauce consistency and taste will difinitely be different, and of course minus the wine too.

  18. This is amazing! Well done!

  19. Can these be made in a Dutch oven?

  20. Awesome recipe! !!Tottaly crazy,way to yummy can get enough! Thanks! !!

  21. OMG! I JUST made this dish. Can you say delish??????? OMG! Loved it so much! Found you through pinterest but will be following you from now on! Thanks a bunch

  22. Hi Marie,
    This recipe sounds exactly the same as my late Mom used to make it. She always would use wine, which gave it a wonderful flavor. A lot of recipes that I come across usually don’t use wine. I can’t wait to try it. I was wondering tho if it would be enough to feed my family of three grown boys and a husband with huge appetites! Lol. Thank you!

  23. Cooking it up RIGHT NOW in New York on yet another snowy night. Smells FABULOUS! Can’t wait! I know it’ll be out of this world. (Truth is, I’ve been “tasting,” so I’m pretty confidant!)

  24. I tried this recipe tonight and wow it was delicious. Being an Irish girl my husband and my friend Marie tease me that I don’t know how to cook Italian. Marie stepped into my house and smelled the amazing aroma and she whispered “that’s authentic Italian cooking ” I was a big cooking hit thanks to you. I will definitely try more of your fabulous recipes! Thank you

    • Mary, you made my night! So glad you liked it!

    • Chef Garfie says

      Cacciatore is one of my most favorite dishes. This recipe is super. The mushroom blend is interesting. Still I prefer the more Italian style less tomato saucy. It works better with other meats like pork or veal chops. It is possible to make cacciatore in the slow cooker or crockpot but the roasted flavor is lost. The taste is more luke stew then.

  25. Ryan bartholomew says

    Hey Marie, great recipe I like how u use the whole chicken instead of all legs and thighs like some because in southern Italy when they prepare this hunter style chicken they use whole chickens, rustic and authentic, only way to get more real is to kill your own chicken, joking, so my question is, when u said to cut each breast in half do u mean just the normal split or are you cutting each split breast in half again, if so do you cut it width wise thru the rib bones?thanks, this would go great on top of polenta

    • Ryan I cut it vertically in half, right through the rib bones with a sharp knife, so you’ll have 2 smaller pieces instead of 1 big breast. It’s delicious with polenta!!

  26. Has anyone made this in a crockpot? Suggestions?

  27. Hi Marie! I love, love your website and the photos are incredible. How do you come up with such deliciousness?? Would you PLEASE consider publishing a cookbook? It would be such a hit! Going to make this on the weekend. You are absolutely the best ever:)

  28. I made this for dinner tonight and it was great. We used a blend of oyster, shitake, and cremini mushrooms. I served it with cheesy sourdough garlic bread. 🙂

  29. Made this a few weeks ago and loved it! It was able to feed 8 hungry adults. Thank you!! 🙂

  30. Made this tonight….fabulous! My family loved it.

  31. I just made this today for my family…mostly Mom and Me. Marie, you brought a tear to her eye. She said she hasn’t tasted anything that good since her Mom passed away. Needless to say, this will definitely be making repeart appearances on the table…not every 20 years. Thank you so much!

  32. It will be delicious….I will try this on Sunday. Thanks for Sharing

  33. I’ll be making this today!

  34. The Countess of Nassau County says

    I made it – FANTASTIC. The only difference was I used this with just chicken thighs – they were on sale. FANTASTIC!!!

  35. Heather Lampman says

    If you would please tell us the brand of tiny whole tomatos you use for this recipe, we can search it on Amazon and get them! Thanks. I’d certainly use them for more than this recipe, which, by the way, is wonderful! You are my go-to blog for Italian food on Pinterest.

    • Heather, go to my blog at click on MY Store, on the right hand side you will see pantry items, click on that and look for the small cherry tomatoes in the can, that’s what I used. They are nice to have handy and inexpensive.

  36. RG in Lecanto says

    Marie . . . You are the Greatest. I have a dear friend that likes to compete with my cooking. She is a great cook.
    I forwarded your website to her husband who is my best friend. When they saw your recipe for Chicken Cacciatore
    she told her husband . . . I finally can make a recipe to outdo yours truly. I had also saw your recipe and as things went she made it before I did. It has been years since I made chicken cacciatore and I must say . . . your recipe outdoes what I had made . . . hands down. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This Chicken Cacciatore recipe outdoes any other.
    Your Web/Site is the Greatest Ever. All the mail you receive is posiitive proof of that.

  37. Chicken Cacciatore! I haven’t made that in a while! This looks delicious. Especially for a cold winters day!

  38. Look so delicious!

  39. Patricia Buckley says

    Yum! I’m making that on Sunday!!

  40. Mmm, this chicken cacciatore looks delicious! It has been pretty cold here too, and this is the perfect meal to warm up to. Thanks for sharing– I can’t wait to try it!

  41. I believe you Marie. This is just the type of comfort food we crave right now with its robust flavours.

  42. You are right about this dish and cold weather. This brings back memories of cold days and delicious dinners. This was one of those things that my mom often made when it was chilly outside, well as chilly as it ever got in Los Angeles! This is comfort food at its best. It looks SO tantalizing, Maire!

  43. Denise Brosch says

    Just coming off a bout with the nasty ole flu. And I came to one of my favorite spots for comfort! Oh I do believe this will be on the weekend plan! Marie! I know how this stuff tastes PLUS you make it just look SO fabulous! OH OH OH!

  44. laurie ruffolo says

    This dish is just beautiful as so many of your dishes are and I can almost smell and taste it. I live in the West suburbs, and am wondering where you purchased the small Strianese tomatoes! They would be so nice to use in certain dishes!

  45. Can’t wait to try this one…much needed, since we are “trapped” inside due to 2 inches oF Snow….yikes!

  46. I could dig right in your chicken looks just too delicious!

  47. I agree, this cacciatore is the best I have seen too…………….I always make Lidia’s version, but I love this one better.
    Perfect cold weather food. Stay warm.

    • Found this recipe , but need to do a low sodium version for Dad. All the spices and veggies still taste delicious thanks for a hearty cold weather dish

  48. I love, love, love chicken cacciatore! Pretty classy peasant food, especially the way you photograph it, Marie! This will keep you warm!

  49. This is by far the best cacciatore recipe I’ve seen. I will be making this in the near future.
    The pictures create the deliciousness of the recipe. Thanks once again for the inspiration.

  50. What a wonderful recipe. Sounds perfect for a cold winter night.

  51. Marie – When you get tired of food blogging, I think you have a second career as a food photographer. These photos have me drooling.

  52. Chicken Cacciatore is true comfort food in my house, Marie! It is perfect cold weather food and so tasty. I hope more normal winter temperatures return your way very soon!


  1. […] take a moment to ponder about that image… That’s exactly what I thought too when I seen Proud Italian Cook’s post on pinterest. So grab your deepest and largest skillet and let’s get ready to wow your […]

  2. […] PROUD ITALIAN COOK:  Marie also blogs from Chicago.  Truth be told- this weblog was one of the initial I started following&#8230 way back in 2008!  Marie was born and raised in Chicago to Italian parents&#8230 and she married an Italian guy too.  Needless to say, this weblog is exactly where you go for amazing Italian food.  Her most recent post:  Chicken Cacciatore. […]

  3. […] PROUD ITALIAN COOK:  Marie also blogs from Chicago.  Truth be told- this blog was one of the first I started following… way back in 2008!  Marie was born and raised in Chicago to Italian parents… and she married an Italian guy too.  Needless to say, this blog is where you go for awesome Italian food.  Her latest post:  Chicken Cacciatore. […]

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