Sunday, March 24, 2013

Recipe: Chicken cacciatore (Pollo alla cacciatora) (Delia Smith)

Chicken cacciatore (pollo alla cacciatora) is a classic Italian hunter-style chicken dish. Delia's version is made with tomatoes, onions, herbs and white wine. According to Wikipedia, southern Italy's cacciatore usually includes red wine and northern Italian chefs will use white wine.

Chicken cacciatore

For this dish to be flavorful, the tomatoes used must be very red and ripe. I used chicken thigh instead of a whole chicken, so everyone gets the same portion of moist meat. In hindsight, I should have browned the chicken a little longer to give it a nicer visual appearance in photographs. I served it with pasta (tagliatelle) on the evening I made it and it was much more filling than expected, hence I had some leftover for lunch the next day. I felt that it tasted much better the following day as the flavours are further developed and I enjoyed it very much with some brown rice and cherry tomatoes/steamed sugar snap peas.

I also learnt a new technique when making this dish - skinning tomatoes. For Asian cuisine, I think it is rare to see skinned tomatoes in a recipe - we just eat the whole lot including the skin as we use the whole tomato when we cook. To skin tomatoes, simply pour boiling water over them and leave them for exactly 1 minute before draining and slipping off their skins (give an extra 30 seconds if tomatoes are straight out of the fridge). A fuss-free method and very useful for Western recipes.

Served on a bed of pasta

Or good with some brown rice and vegetables

A hearty dish

Chicken Cacciatora (pollo alla cacciatora)
Recipe adapted from Delia Smith
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves 4-6

1kg chicken thigh, preferably free-range
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced
700g ripe red tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, bruised and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
275 ml dry white wine
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

1. You can use either a large 3.5l flameproof casserole or a large pot/saucepan would work as well. Heat the oil in the casserole over a high heat and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Then, when the oil gets really hot and begins to shimmer, fry the chicken – in 2 batches – to brown it well on all sides. Remove the first batch to a plate while you tackle the second; each joint needs to be a lovely golden-brown in colour all over. When the second batch is ready, remove it to join the rest.

2. Add the onions to the casserole, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until they are softened and nicely browned at the edges.

3. Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes. To do this, pour boiling water over them and leave them for exactly 1 minute before draining and slipping off their skins (protect your hands with a cloth if they are too hot), then chop them quite small.

4. When the onions are browned, add the garlic to the casserole, let this cook for about 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, tomato purée, rosemary, bay leaf, white wine and white wine vinegar. Season with some
salt and pepper and bring it up to the boil, then let it bubble and reduce (without covering) to about half its original volume, which will take about 20 minutes.

5.Now add the chicken pieces, stir them around a bit, then put the lid on and allow to simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken pieces are cooked through. This is good served with green tagliatelle,
noodles, rice or a simple vegetable.


I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Delia Smith" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Delia Smith websites or cookbooks and blog hop with us for the whole month of March 2013.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in March 2013 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Mich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:

I am also submitting this to my friend mui mui's Little Thumbs Up "Tomato" event.


  1. ahhhh.... the chicken looks good! The ducks at the background damn cute

  2. Looks great! Yummmm!!!

  3. Yen, I made this too... gonna post it next week.

  4. What a healthy, delicious stew.

  5. The chicken looks pale like pak cham kai :D I am sure the taste is delicious! I saw Wendy cooking a French version which is very similar to this dish.

  6. Yen, this dish looks very yummy! Quiet versatile too as I see you served it with pasta and rice. By the way, I love your plating.

  7. love classic dishes like this. packed with flavor and absolutely delicious. Looking forward to trying this recipe out! :)

  8. I Love your hearty dish, looks so decilious and great with the brown rice. Thank you for your comment and support in my blog :)

  9. I have never tried the chicken cacciatore before, wonder any restaurant serves it? :)

    1. Sean say Renoma Cafe Gallery serves it wor.

  10. looks wholesome and tasty! i've been having a lot of chicken cravings lately :D renoma cafe gallery also serves this chicken recipe, though theirs looks a bit more 'commercialized,' heh :D

  11. I am absolutely loving the pic with pea lovely and appetizing. Loved the dish

  12. Hi Yen,

    I have bookmarked this recipe too but made sherry vinegar and tarragon chicken instead. You are right that Delia Smith's recipes are all so fabulous. All I wish is that I have more time to cook and blog more including this recipe... *sign*


  13. I like this dish! Your cooking looks yummy yummy!

  14. Hi, Yen, I just saw that you have 28 posting for this month, wah, have to salute to you. I only have a few niak, hahaha! Haven't been visited you for a few days & this chicken dish looks so attractive to me! Like how you serve it with the pasta. I think my Isabelle can have at least 2 of your chicken thights, she loves chicken!

  15. Yen,
    I have bookmarked this too.
    I hope I have more time to cook like DS.
    You are right, DS's recipes are so good.

    Thanks again friend, for sharing this lovely cacciatore chicken in LTU ^^


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