Chicken Cacciatore

We eat a lot of chicken around here. When I’m ready to switch things up and prepare my favorite cuts (legs and thighs) a little differently than fried or covered and baked in barbecue sauce, I often make up a batch of chicken cacciatore. This is an old dish that’s been around for centuries. As the name implies, it originated in Italy. Loosely translated it’s “Hunter’s Chicken”. I imagine different families had different versions of this simple one pot dish. Below is my version of this hardy braised chicken.

This chicken cacciatore is flavorful and surprisingly frugal. Make it for your family or dinner guests.

Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
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Chicken Cacciatore Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons oil or bacon grease
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, skin removed (legs and thighs are fine)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 14 oz can tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

First remove the skin from your chicken pieces. The skin just doesn't do well when it is simmered in tomato sauce. Then cut your chicken into smaller pieces if need be. Next heat the oil or bacon grease in a very large skillet. Add the chicken and fry it in the hot fat until it begins to brown. Remove it from the pan, and lay it on a plate. Next sauté the onions and garlic in the same pan until they are tender and fragrant. Open up the cans of tomato products. Add them to the skillet with the onions. Add the seasonings too. Stir it up and bring it to a boil. Add the chicken, sort of laying it on top of the vegetables. Cover the skillet with a good lid or a pizza pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the pan simmer for about 45 minutes. Check it every now and then, and add water if you think it needs it.

I like to serve the chicken cacciatore with cooked noodles or spaghetti, broccoli and applesauce. Add a hot bread if you like, garlic bread is always a big hit around here and a great way to stretch the meal.Try these quick and easy garlic bread-sticksquick and easy garlic bread-sticks.

If you like, you can add a chopped green pepper, or a couple of stalks of chopped celery along with the onion. A dash of hot pepper is good too, but the kids don’t much like it. I always sprinkle hot peppers on mine at the table, but it is better cooked in with the chicken.

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Make this flavorful chicken cacciatore dish any day of the week.

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