By Marie Muccio 

    The Italian classic chicken cacciatore sums up Autumn for me.

    A cold and rainy night, the fire is on, a glass of wine in hand and there is comfort food. A bowl ladled with polenta or maybe mashed potato and topped with a generous serving of chicken cacciatore. Its simple, its humble and it’s delicious.

    Chicken cacciatore, otherwise known as hunters stew, is a rustic Italian recipe that calls for simple ingredients and transforms them into something pretty amazing. 

    This is a family favourite recipe we have on repeat and not just in the cooler months. It’s the perfect make ahead dinner when life gets hectic with work, swimming lessons and soccer training. The meat is so tender the kids will love it too which equals no complaints at the dinner table. 

    The chicken pieces are slow cooked in a stock with tomatoes, white wine and fresh herbs until the chicken is falling off the bone. 

    A meal like this is not just about the pleasures of enjoying the finished dish but it’s the cooking process that is equally as special. The wonderful smell of sweet tomatoes and herbs filling your kitchen as the sauce simmers away is magical. It is so homely like freshly baked bread. 

    This recipe is cooked on the stove top but you can also cook your chicken in the oven at 160 degrees or in a slow cooker. For both alternatives, still sear the meat first to lock in the juices. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bone.

    So apart from being comforting on a cold night, chicken cacciatore is great for when you have guests over. The preparation for this recipe is so simple and it’s done in just a few minutes. Your stovetop is going to do the hard work for you while you tend to your guests. It’s a great recipe because it can also be made ahead.  

    It’s the dish that keeps on giving with the flavours intensifying over the coming days and it also freezes really well. 

    Some optional extras to add in while the chicken is cooking are pitted black olives or sliced mushrooms. You can also add a variety of veggies such as pumpkin, sweet potato or carrot. Any root veggies will go well. You can experiment with whatever ingredients you have available but for the recipe below we are going to keep it nice and simple. 

    I love to serve it up with a side of mashed potato or polenta to soak up all the beautiful juices of the stew. Some crusty bread and a crisp garden salad is all you really need as a side to this hearty meal. 

    Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.
    Buon appetito.

    For more delicious winter recipes check out my blog at You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook @mrsfoodiemumma 

    Chicken cacciatore recipe:


    • 1 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks
    • 2 tbs olive oil
    • 1 onion diced
    • 4 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
    • 1 small red chilli deseeded and sliced (optional)
    • 1 spring fresh rosemary
    • 6 springs fresh thyme
    • small bunch fresh parsley chopped finely
    • 4 sage leaves
    • 250 ml dry white wine
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved 


    • Rub the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
    • Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan or casserole dish. Add the chicken and seal all over.
    • Add onion, garlic, chilli (if using) and cook on medium heat until the onions are soft.
    • Next add herbs and the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated by half.
    • Add the stock, tomato paste and stir through. return chicken to the pan with the cherry tomatoes. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook for 90 minutes, stirring now and then to ensure the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom.
    • It’s ready when the chicken breaks apart easily.
    • Serve with polenta or mash potatoes and a crisp garden salad.
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    Marie Muccio
    Marie Muccio
    Food blogger (Mrsfoodiemumma) Taking the stress out of dinner time and  getting you excited about cooking.

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