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Chicken Cacciatore

September 9, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments
Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

It’s another cool, crisp September day.  I’m beginning to wonder if Summer is behind us and Autumn is here to stay.

If so, that makes me happy.  Its my favorite season.

Something else that would be happy is my Dutch Oven which often gets neglected in the Summer.

Well trusty, heavy-bottomed (I mean that in a nice way) cookware, fear no more, Autumn is your time to shine.

With it’s versatility and ability to retain heat the Dutch Oven is the perfect vessel to cook most anything.  Sauces, soups, stews, chili, and even bread (all you Pinterest junkies know the bread I’m talking about) all get the Dutch workout.

They’re especially good for recipes that require a braise.

One such recipe is Chicken Cacciatore.  (Here’s your Italian lesson – Hunter’s Chicken)

This is another one of those Mom-inspired dishes that is easy.  But like most things she made, the recipe card wasn’t included. So in order for me to recreate it as close as possible, and with my Mom no longer with us, I needed to find a good Italian to show me the way.

Giada De Laurentiis?  Love her but despite her ability to over-enunciate any Italian word with drama and flair, she’s not Italian enough for me.

Guy Fieri?  The name is Italian but that’s about it.

Lidia Bastianich? She has a successful Italian restaurant here in Pittsburgh, but she’s actually Croatian.  Who knew?

Surely somewhere on the information super-highway (people still call it that right) there has to be someone to teach me the way.

That person, and my new favorite chef because of the ease of his recipes is Fabio Viviani.  He reminds me of the way my mom used to cook.  Nothing fancy or over the top – just simple, delicious home cooked dishes.

He was a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef”.  However, if you’ve never watched (like me) you can see Fabio cook on his web series for Yahoo called Chow Ciao.  It’s humorous, without being obnoxious and really down to Earth.  Highly recommended.  New episodes premiere every Monday.

I followed Fabio’s Chicken Cacciatore recipe pretty closely but made some adjustments to how long I cooked it to guarantee the chicken was fork tender.

Here is his recipe (with my slight modifications).  Enjoy!


  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp. light olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Heavy pinch salt
  • 1 cup pitted and sliced olives (I used a combination of kalamata and Sicilian green olives)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of rosemary (Fabio called for sprigs tied together for easy removal, but I didn’t have sprigs)
  • 3 pieces each chicken thighs and drumsticks (6 pieces total)
  • Flour (for coating chicken)
  • A few long pours of olive oil, for sautéing
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups red wine (make sure its a wine that you would find good enough to drink)
  • 2 cups of marinara sauce
  1. In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine onions, garlic, mushrooms, and olives with olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper.
  2. Cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, then remove to low heat, add thyme.
  3. Meanwhile, generously coat chicken pieces with flour (be sure to shake off the excess)
  4. In a separate pan over medium-high heat, sear the chicken pieces in  olive oil, until crisp on all sides.
  5. Add chicken legs and pan drippings to the dutch oven with the vegetables.
  6. Add the red wine and marinara sauce.
  7. Cover with lid and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.
  8. Serve topped with a small sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Very Filling

It’s called peasant food, but I call it delicious!

  1. April 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    That was the two fascinating as well as insightful!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

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