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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Chicken Cacciatore

As a kid, I always thought Chicken Cacciatore was a dish invented by Americans and served only in the states. Though one night in the kitchen of our Tuscan villa I watched a local woman named Rosanna make the most flavorful cacciatore I had ever eaten— effortlessly. It is chicken or rabbit, cooked hunter’s style in one pot, and perfect for a winter night one-dish supper.


For the marinade:
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh sage, chopped
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and reserve.

For the Cacciatore:
1 each 4-5 pound whole chicken, broken down into 8 skin-on, bone-in pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 legs; reserve carcass for stock)
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
4 cups Yellow onion, medium diced
1 pound Cremini mushrooms, sliced
¼ pound Pancetta, large diced
2 cups Celery, small diced
2 cups Homemade Marinara
1 cup Dry white wine
1 cup Chicken stock
1/8 tsp Sugar
1/8 tsp Crushed red pepper


Using the marinade above, coat the chicken pieces thoroughly and rub into the meat under the skin. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

After chicken has marinated, remove and discard any remaining marinade in the container. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn. Transfer chicken to a 9” x 11” baking dish. In the same skillet, add pancetta and cook until crispy, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add the onion, mushroom and celery and continue cooking until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by half. Add the marinara, stock, sugar and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil.

When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and return the seared chicken. Cover and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160, about 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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