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Chicken Cacciatore


This Italian dish is often referred to as chicken "hunter style," because cacciatore means hunter in Italian. Why the hunting reference? The story goes that a hunter who came back from an expedition with nothing to show for it would have no choice but to go out to the yard and kill a chicken for dinner instead. Thus, the recipe was born: chicken braised in a tomato-based sauce, with a mix of spices and veggies. This recipe includes an onion and red bell pepper-- many others include mushrooms. You can mix and match ingredients to suit your tastes!

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  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped


Servings 4
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 60mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Lightly coat the chicken pieces in the flour.

Heat the oil over a medium-high flame in a large saute pan. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about five minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in two batches.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

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