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Chicken Cacciatore

Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared "hunter-style" with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers, and sometimes wine. In the north of Italy white wine might be used, vs. the south who would generally use red wine.

Paul Corsi


  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 12 baby portobello mushrooms sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crush and leave whole or finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Italian red wine
  • 1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves or Italian herb blend
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves and parsley for granish


1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

2. In a large heavy pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook just until brown, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Do not over crowd the pan as the chicken will not brown. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, I suggest do it in 2 batches.

3. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3-5 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

This makes a great slow-cooker recipe, after step 4, I transfer all my chicken, onion and bell peppers to the ceramic dish of my slow cooker, and then, I continue with step 5. Note that steps 1-4 can be done the night before, cooled, and then, the next day, placed into the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low- this cooking time is for bone-in chicken, but check your slow-cooker for cooking times, as all machines are differant. This entre is great served over a bowl of Polenta, on a plater family style, or with a great crusty loaf of Italian bread, and of course a nice glass of red wine.