Saturday, April 22, 2023

Weekend Cooking: Chicken Cacciatore

 A month or so ago I reviewed The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan for Cook the Books. 

The recipe I cooked for my post was a chocolate cake, but originally as I was reading the book I was very tempted to make Chicken Cacciatore. Two other people ended up making it, so it was probably good that I didn't make it as well. However, for a couple of weeks after, I kept on thinking about Chicken Cacciatore and so it was that we decided to cook it recently. We really enjoyed it, so now I am posting it for two reasons. One is to share  it with you all but the other is so that when we want to make it again we can find the recipe again.

Chicken Cacciatore almost feels like a retro dish. Back in the 80s, my mum used to buy the jars of pre-cooked sauce but I don't think I have had that for years, although according to the website, the company still makes it.

What exactly is cacciatore? The word translates to hunter in Italian and the idea is that it is the kind of tomato and onion based stew which you would then cook whatever you caught. It just so happened that we caught boneless chicken thighs at the supermarket!

We don't like olives, so we omitted those. We also used a can of roma tomatoes rather than fresh tomatoes. We served our cacciatore with pasta, but if we make it another time I might serve it with couscous. Actually, we have some leftovers in the freezer so maybe we will have it for lunch with couscous because that is so quick to cook!

Chicken Cacciatore

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (or boneless if you like)
Salt and pepper, to season
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic, (or 6 cloves)
1 yellow capsicum diced
1 red capsicum diced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
300g sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup pitted black olives (bleugh!)
8 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons each freshly chopped parsley and basil 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
150 ml red wine
820g crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
200g Roma tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy cast iron pan. Sear seasoned chicken on both sides until golden, about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining oil to the pan. Sauté the onion until transparent, about 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the vegetables (except the roma tomatoes) and herbs. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

Add the wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan, cooking until the wine is reduced, which should take about 2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, roma tomatoes and chill flakes. Season with salt and pepper to your tastes. Return chicken pieces to the pan and then cover, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer (while stirring occasionally) for 50 minutes or until the meat is falling off the bone. Garnish with parsley and serve.

You can also cook this in the oven at 190C, cooking for 50 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Weekly meals

Saturday - Scrambled eggs on toast
Sunday -  Bacon, mushroom, zucchini pasta
Monday - Baked potatoes and chicken skewers
Tuesday - Butter chicken and rice
Wednesday - Takeaway
Thursday - Chicken fried rice
Friday -Chicken tenders, mash, beans and gravy

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. I love chicken cacciatore! Now you've given me a craving too. Looks like I've become an every-other-week blogger lately. Hoping as we move into warmer weather, I'll be motivated to review or post every week.

    1. I am happy whenever your contribute BFR!

  2. That's funny I came across chicken cacciatore this week and looked up a recipe and realized it is very much like my Spanish chicken thighs recipe that also has chorizo added to it. I love it with mashed potatoes because the tomatoes are great with potatoes. Crusty bread is good too.
    I skip olives as well as I hate them. I always use canned tomatoes as well as it is almost impossible to get decent tomatoes.

    1. Mashed potatoes is a good alternative too!

  3. I'll save your version of the recipe. I love this dish. Didn't get it together for a linkup with you this week :-(