Chicken Cacciatore

The classic Italian dish, often called Hunter's Stew, chicken in tomato sauce laced with vegetables and a splash of wine. It's an old family recipe from my Lithuanian aunt - yes, Lithuanian, no, not Italian - but still very tasty!

Chicken Cacciatore ♥, an old family recipe, the classic Italian dish often called Hunter's Stew for stove, oven or slow cooker. WW4.

"... man! was that good! ... a definite keeper." ~ Sally
"... it is wonderful. This is now my go to recipe for chicken cacciatore." ~ Clara

At my house, we call it “Kitchen Catch” but it really means chicken cacciatore [pronounced catch–a–TOE–ree], a home-style Italian chicken stew.

This recipe is adapted from a favorite “little girl” dish made by my dear Auntie Karen on special occasions, including, by personal request, on my birthday!

I remember walking into her house anxious for the first whiffs of pungent onion and tomato and especially, luscious garlic. Garlic is so common now-a-days, it's hard to imagine how glamorous and worldly garlic was to a teenager in the 1970s!

ALANNA's TIPS If you’re feeding a crowd or want lots “planned over” to freeze, use an extra-large pot and just add more meat, there’s already an abundance of sauce. Do choose chicken legs or thighs for Chicken Cacciatore, breasts are just too lean and dry for this dish. To save calories, I always pull the skins off the chicken legs or thighs before dusting them in flour. To keep the good flavor that comes from the chicken skin, though, I drop a single skin into the pot when browning the meat. This works with other chicken dishes too, try it! Roasted peppers can substitute for tomatoes, just leave out the sugar, otherwise the stew will be too sweet. If the sauce hasn’t thickened when you’re ready to serve, stir in a few tablespoons of flour and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 3 to 8 hours
8 servings
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 chicken legs or thighs or a mix of both, skins removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 24 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large dish. Roll the chicken pieces in the flour until lightly coated.

Heat a large Dutch oven on medium high. Add the olive oil and lightly brown the chicken on all sides. Set the chicken aside.

Add the garlic, onion, red pepper and mushroom to the pan and sauté until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and the cooked chicken.

STOVETOP Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 2 – 3 hours (or longer), stirring occasionally.

SLOW COOK IN THE OVEN Cover and cook in a 200F/100C oven for 2 - 3 hours (or even longer). To let the sauce thicken, uncover for the last 30 minutes or so.

SLOW COOKER Let cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or on high for 3 - 4 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or even polenta to soak up the rich sauce.

NUTRITION INFORMATION 189 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 19g Carb; 3g Fiber; 666mg Sodium; 36mg Cholesterol; 11g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 4, WW PointsPlus 4.

This column was published in print in 2003 and first published online in 2009. It was republished online in 2015.

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Mmmmmm! I *love* chicken catch. Aldi's sells big bags of frozen chicken thighs and I think this sounds like a perfect way to use them. Thanks Alanna! :)
I made your Chicken Catch to other day and man! was that good! I did make it in the crock pot and served it over fettucine. That recipe is a definite keeper. Except, next time, I'm going to use SKINLESS, boneless thighs or breasts. The skin was just.. know? But, anyway, thanks so much for the recipe.
I made this last night for dinner, and it is wonderful. This is now my go to recipe for chicken cacciatore.
Clara ~ That was my grandmother’s name, I do love it so! :-) And I’m so glad you love the cacciatore, “go to” is such a huge complement, thanks for letting me know!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna