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Nona’s Chicken Cacciatore {Hunter’s Stew}

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Chicken CacciatoreChicken cacciatore is a classic Italian dish, which roughly translates as hunter’s stew. Early recipes might have been made with pheasant, rabbit or chicken, and each recipe was adapted for those who might be traveling or hunting for several days and would require an easy to prepare recipe for outside cooking. Wine being readily available and a drink of choice made the inclusion of wine to the recipe perfect even for the hunters.

This traditional version of chicken cacciatore is a combination of chicken, mushrooms and spices. Most commonly used spices used are thyme, parsley, and oregano, as well as salt and pepper. The dish also receives flavor from the addition of garlic, bell peppers and onions. The more traditional recipe doesn’t contain tomato sauce, and the chicken and spices form a brownish pan gravy which is just as delicious as the ‘americanized’ version of tomato gravy.  We’ve grown to love Nona’s version which does contain tomatoes and sauce and can be topped with a little parmesan cheese at the table if you like. Dark meat chicken (legs and thighs work best in this recipe, but if you prefer the whole chicken you can use that as well)

This recipe does call for white wine. Use anything you have available as long as its a dry white. Alcohol cooks off, so you get the flavor and none of the tipsy. Do yourself a favor and DON’T use cooking wine!

Chicken Cacciatore

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Debbie


  • 1 three pound chicken cut up or 2-3 llb legs and thighs
  • olive oil to cover bottom of pan
  • 2 medium onions sliced thin
  • 2 bell peppers sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 small package sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 16 oz diced tomatoes canned or fresh
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 stalks celery diced finely
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Parsley to sprinkle on finished dish


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cover bottom of iron skillet with olive oil and heat until a slow sizzle appears.
  • On the stovetop Brown chicken on all sides, remove and drain well.
  • In same skillet, cook onions, bell peppers and garlic until tender but not brown.
  • Add in mushrooms, stir on stovetop until just limp
  • Remove from heat.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix.
  • Return Chicken to skillet and cover with tomato mixture
  • Cover andPlace skillet into preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes
  • Stir in 1/4 cup white wine
  • Cook uncovered for another 15 min or until chicken is tender and cooked through
  • Turn occasionally
  • Remove from oven and cover until cooled,
  • Remove bay leaves, and ladle sauce over chicken on plate
  • Sprinkle generously with Parsley


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