How to Make Chicken Cacciatore

Published on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 | Category: Recipes


When it comes to chicken recipes in Sri Lanka, most people prefer a rich, saucy chicken dish prepared using lots of spices and aromatics. A dish like this represents the ultimate comfort food – the kind that can be mopped up with fresh bread and each bite is a savoury reminder than home cooking definitely tastes better.

Chicken cacciatore recipe is one such a dish that you need to try. It’s a dish with deep flavours from the generous use of bell peppers, garlic, onions and herbs. Chicken cacciatore recipe makes for the perfect one-pan comfort meal and is a true example of a rustic meal at its best and most delicious.

So, what is chicken cacciatore?

The term “cacciatore” is the Italian word for ‘hunter’ and that’s where this dish gets its other name: Hunter Style Chicken.

This rustic, flavorful, wholesome and saucy dish is full of succulent and savory chicken pieces with a generous helping of fresh vegetables and rich sauce, very much similar to our traditional Sri Lankan food recipes. Let’s take a look at the recipe:


4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs (or drumsticks), skin on
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Black pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper,sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thickly
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste

800g diced tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon capers, drained of brine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


– Start off by preheating the oven to 350°.

– Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil, about 1 teaspoon of the salt, paprika, and a few of pinches of black pepper, and rub into the chicken.

– Place a large heavy-bottom pan or skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about four tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the chicken pieces skin-side down and allow to sear for about five minutes on each side until it turns golden-brown. Make sure that it is not cooked through though. Remove the chicken from the the pan, place on a plate and set aside. Repeat with any remaining chicken.

– To that same pan, add the onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms, and saute together until golden-brown for about eight minutes. Add in the Italian seasoning, along with the crushed garlic cloves, and stir well.

– Once it starts releasing its flavours , add in the tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds or until the raw flavour is gone.

– Next, add in the diced tomatoes along with the chicken broth and the capers, and stir those in well to incorporate.

– Bring the gravy to a simmer and then transfer to the oven to braise, for about 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

– Once done, sprinkle over the fresh parsley and thyme, and serve with bread, pasta, noodles or your favorite accompaniment.

Extra Tips

  • This recipe calls for a combination of chicken thighs and legs but you can use all thighs, all legs or even chicken breasts.
  • This recipe calls to cook the chicken cacciatore in the oven without a cover to allow the skin to become deep brown and crispy, but you can also braise it over the stove by covering with a lid and simmering very gently on low flame for the same amount of time.