• Chicken cacciatore (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

Cacciatore means 'hunter' in Italian and is a nod to the style of recipe calling for onions, white wine, herbs, capsicum and tomato.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 4 free-range chicken leg quarters, or 4 chicken drumsticks and 4 thigh cutlets, skin on
  • 100 g (3½ oz) pancetta, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200 g (7 oz) Swiss brown or button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 190 ml (6½ fl oz/¾ cup) white or red wine
  • 400 g (14 oz) tinned cherry tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) chicken stock
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley or basil, to serve
  • crusty bread, crunchy roasted
  • potatoes or mashed potato, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Heat a large heavy-based or cast-iron saucepan over high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides for 3–4 minutes (you won’t need any oil in the pan at this stage, as there is plenty of fat in the skin). Remove the chicken to a plate.

2. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook, stirring, over high heat for 2 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened and the mushrooms have coloured. Add the capsicum and cook for 2 minutes, until softened. Now add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and return the chicken to the pan.

4. Pour in the wine, then allow to bubble for 3–4 minutes to reduce slightly. Stir in the tomatoes and stock, then cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.

5. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly. Stir in the olives and sugar, then season to taste with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Garnish with parsley and serve with your choice of accompaniment.


This recipe is from Low & Slow (Smith Street Books).