Quick & Easy

Chicken cacciatore

Warm up with this hearty favourite.
chicken cacciatore
1H 30M
1H 45M

Chicken cacciatore is a delicious rustic Italian stew of onion, tomatoes, herbs and wine resulting in a savoury and warming casserole perfect for drizzly evenings. Made using chicken thighs (we use skinless, bone-in but you’re welcome to use boneless and skinless), some recipes use red bell peppers or capsicum with red wine and cloves for a smokier, robust flavour, but we keep it simple in this chicken cacciatore recipe with good quality tomatoes and tomato sauce and a touch of umami using anchovy fillets. Serve your stew with polenta, pasta or rice, and top with a generous sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley and oregano, or a generous crack of black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Try not to rush through the simmering stages of this recipe, as time helps the sauce thicken and causes the flavour to deepen and mellow.

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Heat half the oil in large saucepan; cook chicken, in batches, until browned. Remove from pan.


Heat remaining oil in same pan; cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Stir in wine, vinegar, stock, undrained tomatoes, paste and anchovies.


Return chicken to pan, fitting pieces tightly together in a single layer; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; simmer about 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and sauce is reduced. Skim fat from surface; stir in olives and parsley, season to taste.

Recipe is suitable to freeze.


Why is the dish called chicken cacciatore?

Cacciatore is the Italian word for “hunter”, and was apparently created by hunters or hunters’ wives using whatever gamey catch they had managed that day – duck, chicken, or rabbit. These gamier meats work perfectly with the simple yet rich tomato base, and the dish comes together quickly and with minimal effort, making it the perfect family dinner.

What is traditionally served with chicken cacciatore?

If you go by the age-old Italian adage, “chicken and pasta should never be served together” then don’t serve this delicious dinner with pasta. Traditionally, chicken cacciatore is served with rice, polenta or bread. But we’ve tried it with boiled and roasted and mashed potatoes. And if you’re not traditional, or not Italian, then pasta is also a good option!

Is chicken cacciatore the same as chicken parmigiana?

Chicken cacciatore and chicken parmigiana are not the same dish. A chicken parmigiana is dipped in egg wash and flour, and then crumbed and fried. It is then served with a tomato sauce similar to the sauce in our recipe, but not as part of the sauce. A chicken cacciatore starts with the tomato sauce, and the chicken is quickly fried and then finishes cooking in the tomato sauce, as more of a stew.

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