Rooster Cacciatore, “Hunter’s Stew” or Pollo Cacciatore in Italian, is a hearty, rustic stew made with hen and greens simmered in a tomato sauce wealthy with wine and herbs. Easy, cosy, downright tasty home made consolation meals!

Pan of freshly made Chicken Cacciatore - Pollo Cacciatore

Rooster cacciatore – an Italian hen stew

I’ve a delicate spot for hen stews (proof right here and right here and right here) since you get all of the stewy-goodness that takes hours with beef stew in beneath an hour. As a result of, thanks hen, you prepare dinner quick and we don’t must take you to fall-apart-goodness to be juicy perfection!

As we speak’s hen stew is Rooster Cacciatore. “Cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian and in cooking it generally refers to a stewy-type meal made with tomatoes, onion, herbs and often purple wine during which a protein is braised, sometimes hen and rabbit, although I’ve additionally seen lamb and vegetarian variations.

Cut open piece of Chicken Cacciatore - Pollo Cacciatore

Cacciatore is a kind of meals the place there are not any guidelines or one strategy to make it, which implies there are numerous regional varieties and household recipes throughout Italy and the world.

And immediately, I’m sharing my model which, in exterior of Italy (definitely in Australia) could be thought-about a reasonably basic model made with common decisions together with hen with onions, mushrooms and capsicum (bell peppers).

The tomato based mostly stew sauce is flavoured with purple wine, rosemary, bay leaves and dried oregano, in addition to the flavours from the hen, greens and entire olives (don’t skip this!). It’s all simmered collectively for half-hour which is sufficient time for the flavours to meld collectively and for the hen to be cooked by means of to juicy perfection, however a lot sooner to make than a sluggish cooked beef stew!

Chicken Cacciatore - Pollo Cacciatore in a bowl ready to be served

Elements in Rooster Cacciatore

Right here’s what you’ll want to make this Rooster Cacciatore.

Greatest hen for Rooster Cacciatore

As a result of the sauce must be simmered for half-hour to permit it to develop flavour and thicken, we want a reduce of hen that may maintain as much as that simmer time. Bone in thighs and drumsticks are the reply! Bonus: Juicier, tastier and cheaper than boneless hen breast. 🙂

Ingredients in Chicken Cacciatore

Mixture of thighs and drumsticks – I like to make use of a mixture of thighs and drumsticks, however you should utilize only one or the opposite. Use as many as you possibly can match within the pan, taking into consideration they’ll shrink a bit as they prepare dinner (I take advantage of 4 of every, round 1.6kg / 3lb in whole). This can feed 4 adults with hearty appetites (one thigh and one drumstick every), or 6 smaller servings (both 1 thigh or 2 drumsticks per individual).

Boneless thighs or breast – Nevertheless, when you want or solely have boneless thighs or breast, I’ve popped instructions within the recipe notes for the way to alter the recipe (simply add them again into the sauce in the direction of the tip of the simmer time in order that they don’t overcook).

Greens and herbs

Bugger! I forgot dried oregano within the photograph. 🙂

Ingredients in Chicken Cacciatore
  • Mushrooms – I simply use common white / button mushrooms. Be at liberty to make use of different varieties.

  • Capsicum (bell peppers) – This imparts a definite flavour into the sauce which I like and affiliate with the “cacciatore” flavour. So I at all times use capsicum!

    My brother prefers fennel which could be very on theme, being a vegetable extensively utilized in conventional Italian cooking. He additionally threw out the assertion “capsicum is soooo pedestrian, fennel makes it extra fascinating!”. The entire RecipeTin Household could be very opinionated about meals! 😂 Each fennel and capsicum are beautiful on this dish. You select! There isn’t any proper reply.

  • Bay leaves – I like to make use of contemporary as a result of I’ve a plant (glorious one to develop in a pot, arduous to by chance kill). Nevertheless, dried will work superb too.

  • Rosemary – Utilizing sprigs of contemporary rosemary type of “perfumes” the sauce in a method that dried rosemary is not going to. So actually attempt to use contemporary when you can, although it may be substituted with dried rosemary.

  • Dried oregano – Unintentionally not noted of the photograph! I want to make use of dried reasonably than contemporary as a result of it has an earthier flavour that I believe works higher for this dish.

  • Onion and garlic – Important flavour base for the sauce!

Cacciatore sauce elements

As talked about above, anchovies are the “secret ingredient” that add depth of flavour into this tomato based mostly sauce with out making it style fishy in any respect. I doubt even somebody with a extremely refined palette would know it’s in there. However, when you’re actually anti-anchovies, you should utilize fish sauce as a substitute (comparable savouriness) or boring ole’ salt!

Ingredients in Chicken Cacciatore
  • Anchovies – Use the anchovies in oil that is available in jars and cans. The anchovies are gray and salty. Don’t use the white anchovies in a vinegary oil which might be dearer. These are made for popping straight into your mouth reasonably than cooking with! I put them on charcuterie boards.

  • Purple wine – Wine is used to flavour the sauce however as soon as cooked, it gained’t style winey. I like to make use of pinot noir for cooking so that is the one I’ve available on a regular basis. Nevertheless, any dry purple wine can be utilized, or substituted with white wine. There isn’t any want to make use of costly wine right here, it’s wasted! Get a steeply discounted bottle from the low cost bins on the liquor retailer.

    Non-alcoholic substitute – The alcohol within the wine is generally cooked out as a result of we scale back the wine then the sauce is simmered for an additional half-hour. Nevertheless, when you want an alcohol-free possibility, use additional hen inventory as a substitute.

  • Kalamata olives – Use entire, pitted kalamata olives. The brine goodness of the olives provides each flavour and salt into the sauce, so don’t skip it! (Be aware: I method want the flavour and texture of Kalamata olives over normal “black olives” that are firmer and have much less flavour).

  • Rooster inventory/broth – Low sodium please. This manner we will management the extent of salt we add. I at all times fear when utilizing full salt hen inventory that sauces find yourself too salty and you’ll’t undo it.

  • Tomato – Tomato paste and canned tomato. The tomato paste thickens the sauce (so we don’t want flour or different thickener) and provides an additional hit of tomato flavour.

Find out how to make Rooster Cacciatore

Brown hen pores and skin > sauté veg > simmer half-hour. Simple!

How to make Chicken Cacciatore
  1. Season – Lay the hen out on a tray then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

  2. Brown – Utilizing a big pan with a lid (mine is 30cm/12″ vast, this Pyrolux, it appears to solely be accessible in Australia). Sear the pores and skin aspect of the thighs till golden (about 6 minutes) then the flesh aspect for only one minute. Put it again on the identical attempt then brown the drumsticks as finest you possibly can (due to the form, you possibly can’t brown it evenly, that’s okay).

How to make Chicken Cacciatore
  1. Sauté & dissolve anchovies – Sauté the onion with the rosemary and bay leaves till the onion is softened. Then clear an area in the course of the pan and prepare dinner the garlic with the anchovies, mashing up the anchovies as you go (ie no must mince with a knife, simply add them in entire). Then combine the garlic and anchovies up with the onion.

  2. Cook dinner greens – Add the capsicum and mushrooms and prepare dinner for five minutes till softened. The mushrooms will go watery then the water will evaporate, by this time they need to be softened.

How to make Chicken Cacciatore
  1. Cook dinner off tomato paste – Add the tomato paste and prepare dinner for two minutes. This can take off the bitter edge and enhance the flavour, so don’t skip this step.

  2. Sauce – Add the wine and scale back by about 3/4 (to prepare dinner out the winey flavour, forsaking simply the tasty wine flavour). Then add the canned tomato, hen inventory/broth, dried oregano, salt and pepper.

How to make Chicken Cacciatore
  1. Simmer – As soon as the sauce comes as much as a simmer, gently place the hen items in, skin-side up. Then put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes on medium. The liquid ought to be simmering gently, not quickly (it can spill over if it does).

  2. Olives & thicken sauce – Take away the lid and add the olives. Then simmer for an additional 10 minutes with out the lid. The olives will soften and meld into the sauce, and the sauce will scale back and thicken.

And that’s it! Able to serve!

Chicken Cacciatore - Pollo Cacciatore

Serve over mashed potato or polenta, a superb on-theme possibility for Italian meals. In the event you don’t have the time to make “actual” polenta (which does take a very good 40 minutes or so), purchase “prompt polenta” or “fast polenta” which takes 5 to 10 minutes on the range.

It’s additionally beautiful over plain rice or simply served in a bowl with crusty bread on the aspect for mopping. Serve it with a leafy inexperienced salad on the aspect tossed with my On a regular basis Salad Dressing (or improve to Italian Dressing) for a easy midweek meal. Or when you’re making this for a Sunday Supper with household and associates, go all out by serving it with a Mega Italian Salad, garlic bread and a heat Cinnamon Rice Pudding or Baked Stuffed Apples for dessert. Swoon! – Nagi x

Watch the way to make it

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Pan of freshly made Chicken Cacciatore - Pollo Cacciatore

Rooster Cacciatore

Recipe video above. I like this stew, made with easy elements that is cosy and comforting. Often known as hunter’s Stew, that is an Italian hen stew made with a tomato sauce wealthy with purple wine, herbs, and Kalamata olives. Whereas there are numerous regional variations, capsicum (bell peppers) and mushrooms are typical vegetable inclusions although I’ve additionally seen varieties utilizing fennel which is so distinctly Italian too (finely slice and sauté). Serve over mash or polenta for the right cosy night meal.



  • 1 onion , halved, finely sliced
  • 2 rosemary sprigs (about 15 cm/6″ lengthy), or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves , ideally contemporary else dried
  • 3 garlic cloves , finely minced
  • 3 anchovy fillets (or 1 tsp anchovy paste), non-compulsory (Be aware 2)
  • 250 g mushrooms , sliced
  • 2 purple capsicum , sliced 8 mm thick (medium, not large)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry purple wine
  • 2 cups hen inventory/broth , low sodium
  • 400g/14 oz canned crushed tomato
  • 16 entire kalamata olives , pitted, drained
  • 1/4 tsp cooking/kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano



  • Season – Unfold the hen out on a tray. Sprinkle either side with the salt and pepper.

  • Brown pores and skin – Warmth the oil over excessive warmth in a big, deep, heavy based mostly pan, ideally one with a lid (Be aware 3). Place the hen thighs within the pan, pores and skin aspect down, and prepare dinner till the pores and skin is golden brown, round 6 minutes. Flip and prepare dinner the flesh aspect for simply 1 minute, then take away the hen onto the identical tray. Then add the drumsticks and brown both sides as finest you possibly can, about 1 1/2 minutes on both sides (the form makes it awkward). Take away onto the tray.


  • Onion – Pour off and discard all however about 2 tablespoons of fats. Flip the warmth right down to medium and let the pan cool barely. Add the onion, rosemary leaves, bay leaves and dried oregano. Cook dinner for 3 minutes till the onion is beginning to soften.

  • Garlic and anchovies – Clear an area in the course of the pan. Add the anchovies and garlic, cooking, mashing up the anchovies, till the garlic is mild golden, then stir it into the onion.

  • Greens & tomato paste – Flip the warmth again as much as excessive. Add the mushroom and capsicum. Stir till softened – about 5 minutes (the mushrooms will go watery then the water will evaporate). Add the tomato paste and prepare dinner for two minutes to prepare dinner out the bitter flavour – don’t shortcut this.

  • Sauce – Add the wine. Stir, convey to simmer then enable to scale back by round 75%. Add the inventory, canned tomato, salt and pepper. Stir, convey to a simmer.

  • Simmer – Then rigorously place the hen into the sauce (pores and skin aspect up) and pour any juices on the tray in as effectively. When the liquid returns to a simmer, cowl, scale back the warmth to medium then simmer energetically for 20 minutes. Take away lid, add olives, simmer for an additional 10 minutes (no lid). This can scale back and thicken the sauce.

  • Serve – Serve the hen with loads of sauce over mashed potato or polenta, sprinkled with parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes:

1. Rooster – bone-in, skin-on hen is finest right here so the flesh is fantastically juicy on the finish of the simmering time and the sauce will get flavour from the fats rendered out of the hen pores and skin. In the event you decide to make use of boneless thighs as a substitute, sear the floor briefly then add into the sauce for the final 10 minutes of simmering time. For hen breast, use 4 to six, pound to even 1.5cm / 0.6″ thickness, sear then and return into the sauce for the final 5 to eight minutes of simmering time till the inner temperature is 67C/153F. Take away hen from the sauce and relaxation for 3 minutes earlier than serving with sauce.
2. Anchovies are a effectively documented supplier of additional flavour into dishes, and when used accurately (like right here!) you possibly can’t style any fishiness in any respect. Belief me! However, when you merely can’t do it, substitute with 2 tsp fish sauce (add with canned tomato) or as a final resort, add an additional 1/2 tsp salt into the sauce.
3. The pot you see pictured is 30cm / 12″ vast, this Pyrolux.

Lifetime of Dozer

When Dozer made the duvet of gossip mags!!!

OK, so he’s a small inset on the duvet – however nonetheless! Verify one off his bucket checklist! 🙌🏻😂

This was press in relation to a little bit visitor decide look I did for Masterchef Australia which aired on Monday seventeenth June which you’ll watch right here on Ten Play. What an expertise! I’ll share extra about it in an upcoming life happenings replace. 🙂

On the well being entrance, Dozer is doing so effectively! His power ranges and power have improved to the purpose that he’s breaking out right into a run with out me having to coax him like I used to. He desires to play, he’s again to chasing birds, trotting into the kitchen at any time when I pull one thing tasty out of the oven and I even take him on skilled shoot days once more! 🥰

I really feel so grateful and relieved that he’s recovered okay from his surgical procedure to get an inexpensive degree of normalcy again into his life. Most significantly to me, he’s completely satisfied and again to having fun with life – and meals!

Dozer drinks and eats together with his bowl elevated nowadays as a precaution, to make sure secure passage of meals to his stomache.

Love this darn canine so darn a lot.

This photograph was taken by Rob Palmer in his studio on a day after we had been doing cookbook pictures!

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