Chicken Cacciatore (Pollo alla Cacciatora)
Chicken Cacciatore is such a classic, rustic and comforting Italian stew. Made with juicy chicken thighs in a beautiful tomato sauce flavoured with hearty vegetables, herbs, pancetta and olives. Comfort food doesn't get much better than this, serve with creamy polenta or Italian roast potatoes.
Servings: 4 - 6 servings
- 8 chicken thighs , skin on and bone in
- 1 large carrot , finely chopped
- 1 stick celery , finely chopped
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- ½ cup pancetta (80g)
- ½ cup olives green or black (50g)
- 1 cup chicken stock low sodium
- 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes (400g)
- ½ cup white wine (125ml)
- 1 large sprig rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large deep sided skillet until hot. Sprinkle the chicken with salt then brown the chicken skin side down for 5-7 minutes until golden. Turn the chicken around and brown on the other side for 2 minutes then remove and set aside on a plate. Drain the excess fat from the skillet but don’t wipe it clean.
Add the pancetta to the hot skillet and fry for 2-3 minutes. Next add the finely chopped carrot, celery and onion and saute until soft but not browned around 5 minutes.
Once soft, add the garlic, rosemary and bay and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until you can no longer smell the alcohol.
Add the tomatoes and stock and stir everything together. Finally, add the chicken back to the pot, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Uncover add the olives and simmer for a further 10 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. While the sauce is reducing you can remove the chicken to a tray and place under a broiler (oven-grill) for a couple of minutes to crisp the skin up, this is optional but gives you delicious crispy skin.
Add the chicken back in and serve.
- Chicken - Use free-range chicken if possible for best flavour.
- Tomatoes - as with all Italian dishes the highest quality ingredients are important. Buy a brand of tomatoes you trust and won't leave you with an acidic flavour. Crushed tomatoes are best for this recipe or chopped tomatoes in thick tomato juice such as Cirio Polpa.
- Chicken stock - you can use chicken or vegetable stock but make sure to buy low sodium so you can control the amount of salt you add.
- Wine - You can use a dry red or white wine to make this recipe. If you don't want to cook with wine then you can replace it with extra stock.
- Storage - leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days and can be reheated. You can also freeze leftovers, thaw completely then reheat as needed.
Calories: 761kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 984mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3011IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg