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Italian Chicken Cacciatore

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

A single bite of Nona's chicken cacciatore will transport you to the Tuscan countryside. Herbs, mushrooms, good wine, and an assortment of veggies combined with locally farmed chicken or game meat packs a depth of flavor that you never forget.

Authentic Italian Chicken Cacciatore


8 chicken thighs with skin and backbone

1/2 cup of pancetta or bacon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red bell pepper

1 large onion

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 large red bell pepper

3 medium carrots

3 stalks of celery

2 zucchini

1 cup of dry assorted mushrooms (porcini, morel, chanterelle, portabella) rehydrated

1 cup of robust red wine (chianti)

1 ( 28-ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup of green olives

3 tablespoons drained capers

3 Tbs dry Italian herb mix

5 springs of fresh thyme

4 springs on fresh rosemary

Handful of fresh basil leaves


Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat a large heavy Douch oven pan, over a medium-high flame and olive oil.

Brown the pancetta and remove it from the pan. Brown the chicken, about 3 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with wine or chicken broth if needed.

Add onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add carrots celery and zucchini and saute for 5 minutes.

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

Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, olives, capers, and dry herb mix. Return the chicken pieces, pancetta, and rehydrated mushrooms with the water to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce.

Toss the fresh springs of thyme and rosemary on the top and bring the sauce to a simmer.

Continue simmering over medium-low to low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30-45 minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve


Serve over mashed or roasted potatoes or polenta

Use fresh mushrooms instead if you have them

Use Marinera sauce if you don't have canned tomatoes

Use dry white wine instead

Cacciatore is a rich and rustic hunter's stew and is often made with rabbit or other game meat as well as herbs and veggies that are available. Feel free to adapt it to your family's taste.

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