Chicken in the Style of the Hunter’s Wife 

Updated February 23, 2016


1,000 Italian Recipes

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I think I could write a whole book of chicken recipes called alla cacciatora. One explanation for the name is that chicken, until the last 50 years or so, was a special occasion dish in most homes and not eaten every day. But during the hunting season, the hunter’s wife would prepare a chicken to fortify her husband for the rigors of the hunt. There are so many variations to this dish. Southern Italians make it with tomatoes, garlic, and peppers. In Emilia-Romagna it has onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes, and dry white wine. In Friuli–Venezia Giulia, it is made with mushrooms. The Genoese make it simply with tomatoes and local white wine. This Piedmontese version is a classic.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodbraising



Total Timeunder 2 hours

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Textureherby, savory, winey


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chicken (about 3½ pounds), cut into 8 serving pieces
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn into bits
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Rinse and pat the chicken pieces dry. Cook the chicken, turning the pieces frequently until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Tip the pan and skim off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.

Add the onions, celery, carrot, and peppers to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Return the chicken to the skillet. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, until the chicken juices run clear when the thigh is pierced in the thickest part, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.


Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Sign In using Email and Password