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Pollo alla Cacciatora (Hunter-Style Chicken)

Pollo alla Cacciatora (Hunter-Style Chicken)

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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 10 large green olives, pitted (optional)
  • Mashed potatoes, for serving


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and brown the chicken pieces in it for 3-4 minutes (avoid crowding the pan; do it in batches, if necessary). Next, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sauté until all of the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Next, pour in the red wine and increase heat to high; allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add the diced tomatoes, reduce heat to medium, cover, and let the chicken cook until the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. Add the olives in the last 5 minutes, if using, and mix well. Serve warm with some mashed potatoes on the side.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving1048

Folate equivalent (total)69µg17%

Riboflavin (B2)0.6mg34.7%

Pollo alla Cacciatora (Hunter-Style Chicken Recipe)

This Italian hunter-style chicken recipe is popular throughout Italy, though it is particularly beloved in Toscana, where mushrooms and rosemary are two favored ingredients.

With its stew-like sauce, this dish is perfect for the transition from winter to spring, when chickens head out to pasture and can feed freely on the first of fresh grasses and clover.

Pollo alla Cacciatora (Hunter-Style Chicken Recipe)

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 2-3 whole garlic cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 16 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish

Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper.

In a wide braising pan, heat the olive oil until a piece of chicken dipped in the oil sizzles. Add as many pieces of chicken to the pan as will fit without touching, skin side down.

NOTES: do not crowd chicken. If the pan is not wide enough to fit all of the chicken, brown it in batches.

Once browned, remove all chicken from the skillet. Leave the remaining oil and any drippings from the chicken, and add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic directly to the same pan. Sauté until soft and translucent.

Add the bay leaves, rosemary, cremini mushrooms, and capers, and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and oregano.

Add the red wine vinegar and white wine. Stir for two minutes, until it reduces by about half.

Add the chicken stock and tomatoes to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Tuck the chicken pieces back into the pan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.

Before serving, remove the garlic (or don’t!). Serve chicken pieces over a bed of polenta with a generous helping of sauce on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.


WASH, pat dry, salt and pepper the chicken pieces to taste.

IN a frying pan large enough to accomodate the entire chicken and a with a cover (for later), on medium heat, heat the 2 T olive oil. Add as many chicken pieces as will fit in the bottom of the pan without crowding, and brown. As the pieces brown ('to the lovely color of dark gold') set them aside and continue with the remaining chicken until all pieces are browned.

WHEN all chicken is browned and removed from pan, add the onion, parsley, celery and crushed clove of garlic and sautee, stirring, until transparent. Note: You can skim some of the fat from the juices in the pan before adding the 'odori' (the onion, etc.) if you're counting your 'fat' calories.

ADD the laurel leaves, return all the chicken pieces to the pan, and stir well so that the pieces are will coated with the liquied remaining in the pan.

POUR the 1/2 cup of white wine over the chicken and mix the ingredients well continue on medium heat allowing the wine to evaporate ('reducing' it) - when the liquid in the pan has thickened, add 1/4 cup of water, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until done, 30 - 60 minutes, until tender and done (a fork should easily pierce the meat).

Pollo alla Cacciatora (Hunter-Style Chicken) - Recipes

Meaning “hunter” in Italian, cacciatore is a rustic dish bursting with rich flavor. Serve over noodles and enjoy with the rest of that red wine—you’ll only need a cup for this recipe.

*Bone-in, dark chicken meat like thighs and legs give the best flavor. Chicken breasts can be substituted if preferred.
**Use supermarket white buttons or the small brown portabella (crimini) mushrooms.
***Substitute one 15-ounce can of tomato sauce is preferred.
****Northern Italians use red wine in this dish while those in the south prefer white wine. In San Francisco, my wine of choice is red.

NOTE: This is the secret to great meat dishes like cacciatore. The flavor isn’t restricted to the sauce but goes straight through to the center of each bite.

  1. Bring chicken to room temperature and dredge with flour.
  2. Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat until sizzling.
  3. Add the bay leaves and infuse the oil for one minute.
  4. Add the chicken and cook until golden. Remove and set aside.
  5. Sauté the mushroom. Set aside.
  6. Stir in the pancetta and fry until crisp.
  7. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds, adjusting the heat to prevent burning.
  8. Add 1–2 tablespoons of oil and heat to a sizzle. Toss in the carrots, bell peppers and celery. Stir well and cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Slowly add the chicken broth, scraping all of the bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan.
  10. Add the tomatoes and wine, stirring well.
  11. Add the browned chicken, spooning sauce over the pieces. Bring to a lively simmer.
  12. Cover and adjust the heat to reach a low simmer. Cook for 60 minutes.
  13. Add the chopped Rosemary and sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  14. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  15. Garnish with parsley and serve.

NOTE: I spread hot noodles over a large platter and top them with the cacciatore. The parsley garnish makes for a deliciously beautiful presentation.

At the time, cacciatora is one of the dishes naturally born from the hunter’s living environment.
・They cooked prey and chicken brought back by the hunter and ingredients collected by their wife.
・Hunters cooked and ate while traveling because they can be easily cooked outdoors.
Details are unknown, but it may have been born in this way.

There are various variations for each region.
This time I made it with reference to the Roman style recipe.
Not only delicious, but also refreshing and good aftertaste.
It would be best to eat it with bread or pasta, but I was impressed with the good compatibility with rice.
In addition, you can enjoy various flavors depending on the wine used because it is refreshing seasoning.

Pollo alla cacciatora (Hunter’s chicken)

Serves 4
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 kg chicken (a small one, jointed, or a mixture of legs and thighs)
2 garlic cloves
1 small chilli pepper, or good pinch of dried chilli
A sprig of fresh rosemary
Salt and black pepper
250ml white wine, plus extra if needed
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
A handful of pitted black olives

1 Cut the chicken into about 12 pieces (I ask my butcher to do this). In a deep sauté pan with a lid, large enough to fit the meat in a snug, single layer, warm the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the meat pieces, skin-side down and cook until the skin forms a golden crust, then turn them over and do the same on the other side. This will take about 15 minutes.

2 While the meat is browning, chop the garlic, chilli and needles from the rosemary sprig very finely. Once the meat has browned, sprinkle with the chopped garlic, chilli and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, pour over the white wine, cover the pan and turn the heat down to low.

3 Cook the meat, turning from time to time, until the thighs feel very tender when prodded with a fork, and the meat is surrounded by thick gravy – 45–75 minutes depending on the chicken. If the pan seems a little dry, add a little more wine.

4 In the last minutes of cooking add the vinegar and the olives, stir, and cook for a minute more, before dividing between warm plates.

Pollo alla Cacciatora (Hunter-Style Chicken) - Recipes

Have you ever tried a new recipe and then made it so many times you no longer have to look at the recipe? I have so many family recipes like that and this is one of them. I know what you're thinking. Chicken Cacciatore is one of my family recipes?! Indeed it is and I'm far from being Italian-American. I learned to cook at an early age and would spend hours looking through my Mom's cookbooks. In the mid-80s, she ordered a set of cookbooks from the Culinary Arts Institute. As soon as we got it, I was fascinated with the 40 volume set. I'd read through all the recipes and imagine what they would be like. My Dad began cooking a few recipes out those books and he was the one who showed me the Hunter's Style Chicken recipe. There's just something about a lovely tomato-ey chicken stew with melted strips of peppers and chunks of tomatoes that made me fall in love with this dish. Over the years, I've learned tips from my Italian friends how their family have made this dish. Depending on what I have on hand, sometimes I don't add the bell peppers and tomatoes. But I always keep everything else the same, including adding that half glass of red wine. The alcohol cooks out and the flavors stay behind, adding a depth to the tomato sauce that somehow without it just becomes another chicken stew.


1 whole chicken, about 3 lbs, cut into about 8-10 pieces

4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

5 whole ripened Roma tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

¾ cup homemade marinara sauce or tomato sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 green bell pepper, sliced (optional)

1 red bell pepper, sliced (optional)

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced (optional)


  1. In a large dutch oven, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown each chicken piece until browned. You will have to do this in two batches so that the chicken can brown properly. Set the browned chicken aside on a separate clean platter. Add about 1 tablespoon olive oil into the pot again.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic, stirring well, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any browned pieces of chicken. Add a few Rosemary needles to the onion and garlic, then deglaze with the red wine. Stir through, also scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the chunks of tomatoes and marinara sauce to the pot and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves
  3. Return the chicken to the pot and bring up to a slow boil. Ensure the chicken pieces are in a single layer. Add the bell peppers (if using), then cover and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Check the seasoning again. Chicken should be nearly tender. Remove the cover and let cook for an additional 15 minutes to reduce the sauce. Sauce should not be watery but resemble a slightly thick tomato sauce. Server with either cooked thick spaghetti. I love mine over rice


First, reduce the chicken into pieces. Slice the onion into thin half rings. Peel and crush the garlic and juniper berries. Now, place a stainless or enamel pan over medium heat. Finally, sear the chicken a little pieces at time along with 3 tbsp of olive oil. When all the pieces of the chicken are golden brown, store them into a bowl, covered.

Recipe Summary

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pound tomatoes, diced

Heat oil in a large skillet brown chicken remove. Add bacon and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Add onions and mushrooms and continue to saute until onions are translucent. Return chicken to skillet sprinkle with parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Add wine and tomatoes. Cover and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, turning chicken once during cooking. Remove chicken from skillet and pour sauce over chicken.

Pollo alla Cacciatora- Hunter Style Chicken

While trying to research a little about the beginnings of this dish, I found some opposing suggestions. If this is &ldquohunter-style chicken&rdquo, why would one go hunting and come back with a chicken? Is it that the hunter&rsquos wife would prepare this for her man upon his return from a hard day in the woods or is it that she would prepare this dish if he came back empty handed? Versions of this dish likely date back to the 15 century and originally did not include tomatoes. You will find that there are so many variations of chicken cacciatore. The spices can vary, some use red wine while others use white, some recipes include capers and green olives.

Having said all that, we were so excited to finally get together with Nonna Anna and make her version of pollo alla cacciatore that her family raves about. In fact, I made it for my family the next day and got the same response! The wonderful aroma of this dish permeates the house and magically draws everyone to the kitchen!

What&rsquos really great about it is that Nonna Anna gathered several of the ingredients right from her own garden including the tomatoes she canned herself&hellipguaranteed fresh!

Nonna Anna has been making this recipe for years and for good reason-it&rsquos delicious!

This chicken dish is perfect for a family meal or makes an impressive dinner for guests. Use the sauce to make a pasta starter (or add it over rice or farro). Add a tossed salad or veggie dish and dinner is served. Don&rsquot forget the fresh crusty bread to soak up all the yummy sauce!

Watch the video: Pollo alla Cacciatora (June 2022).