Chicken Cacciatore (Pollo alla Cacciatora)

“Cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian, so “alla cacciatora” refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with onions, herbs, tomatoes, and usually bell peppers. Sometimes wine is also added- red wine is more common in recipes from southern Italy, while white wine is used more frequently in northern Italian cooking. Often, cacciatore is made with rabbit (coniglio alla cacciatora), but here in the States braised chicken (pollo alla cacciatora) is more popular.

This recipe serves 4-6, depending on portion size.


  • 1 whole chicken, bone-in, skin on and each breast cut in half for smaller pieces
  • 8 oz. mixed mushrooms, such as crimini and shiitake
  • 1 large 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 stock
  • 1 cup white or red wine
  • One 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • One 14 oz. can of tiny whole tomatoes or whole cherry tomatoes if not available
  • Assorted herbs, such as 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, sauté 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.