Friday 14 October 2011


We are well and truly into autumn. Food that warms both body and heart are what we should now cook. Isn't it just nice to smell the aroma of delicious food as it slowly cooks? The anticipation mounts and is instantly gratified when the food is finally served.

Pollo alla Cacciatora or Chicken Cacciatore in English is a traditional Italian chicken dish. It is so autumnal both in looks and taste. It used to be cooked by hunters whilst in the fields so it is actually a very easy and basic dish. There seems to be a lot of versions, varying from region to region and from cook to cook. Although most has tomatoes in it, the original rustic version did not. 

The ingredients that I've used here are the ones common amongst all the recipes and I've seen. This is not a fancy dish so no fancy ingredients are called for. However, the dish is very suitable for entertaining. The dish can be cooked ahead and reheated before serving. Although it is usually served with pasta, I think it will be equally delicious with bread, potatoes or rice. 


2 tbsps. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped pancetta or streaky bacon
1 medium chicken, cut into portions
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
3/4 c. chopped tomatoes
20 mushrooms
2 tsps. sugar
2 tbsps. capers
1/4 c. sherry or marsala
1/2 sweet red peppers, sliced
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
about 1/4 c. torn fresh basil leaves


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. 

Fry the pancetta or bacon in 2 tbsps. of olive oil until medium brown. Take out of the pan and set aside. 

Season the chicken with 1 tsp. of salt. In the same pan, brown the chicken pieces then set aside. 

Still in the same pan, saute the garlic for 2 minutes, then add the sliced onions and fry until softened. Add the mushrooms and sugar and fry for 3 minutes. 

Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the basil. Return the chicken and bacon to the pan and bring to a boil. Adjust the seasonings. 

Transfer to an oven proof dish, cover with foil and bake for an hour. Remove the foil and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the torn basil leaves before serving with short pasta.

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  1. Wow! What a beautiful chicken, Adora! You are a very good food photographer. Delicious! :)

  2. One of my favorite dishes and I love your little twists. Great photos too.

  3. This looks stunning! Nicely done. I mean really. Just amazing looking..I wish I was having this for dinner tonight :-)

  4. I love Chicken Cacciatore but my version is more tomato saucey. I love to try yours! I started Pinterest and I can pin your post now. =) Look who's excited with new technology... well I'm actually very behind in this kind of stuff.... but anyway I have to pin this!

  5. Chicken cacciatore is one of my favorite dishes! I just love all the flavors going on and that you can prepare it so many different ways.

  6. Stunning! I like this dish - the flavors are incredible, but your pictures...WOWZA! They're stunning!

  7. Wow! What a beautiful chicken. Great photos.

  8. Hi this is Nicole from Colie’s Kitchen I just discovered your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi. I am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

  9. The moment I saw this I was thinking rice! This would be awesome with rice. You make plain chicken look like a star!
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

  10. "This is not a fancy dish so no fancy ingredients are called for." But you made this chicken dish not only fancy but so beautiful and delish too! ;)

  11. Hmmm.... Hunters used to cook these??! Wow...

  12. The ingredients might not be fancy but you have sure made it look fancy . The pics are so good that I can actually smell the aroma , really it's that good *slurp* .

  13. Your cacciatore looks so scrumptious! This is definitely going on my to-try list =)


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