Chicken Cacciatore

There is no traditional dish by this name in Italy. It is an American creation that began appearing on menus in Italian restaurants after World War II. This version was created by Vicki Sebastiani and included in her best-selling cookbook “Cucina Viansa, ” available at



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large frying chicken, excess fat removed, cut into pieces
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pound chanterelle, portobello or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon olive pesto (optional)
  • 2 marinated Italian peperoncini, minced
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a large, deep skillet and sautŽ chicken over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Add onions to the skillet and sautŽ for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the onions, cooking another 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except the wine and cheese. Stir to blend, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork.

Return chicken to sauce, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and arrange chicken on a hot platter. Pour the sauce over it and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Chicken Cacciatore makes a full meal when served on a bed of polenta or pasta.

*Serves 4 to 6.

Wine Pairings

Barbaresco D.O.C.G. “Gallina” Negro Guiseppe

Barolo D.O.C.G. “Sori del Rovere”