From the MACARONI JOURNAL – What’s a blog by a Cacciatore without a ‘Chicken Cacciatore‘ recipe?

Chicken-Cacciatore2First off Cacciatore (pronounced [kattʃaˈtoːre]) means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” (not by) with garlic, onions, celery, fresh herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and sometimes, which is to say, always wine.

There are many different variations of this dish based upon ingredients available in specific regions. Since I am from central party of Italy, I follow more the southern tradition of using red wine in the cacciatore, while chefs in the north might use white wine.

My basic cacciatore recipe usually begins with a couple of tablespoons of virgin olive oil (in Costa Rica or Colombia, Pricesmart is your best buy) heated in a large frying deep pan. Chicken parts, sprinkled with salt (I use little salt my preparations) and ground pepper, are sautéed in the oil for three to four minutes on each side.

I then remove the chicken from the pan, and pour off most of the fat, using the remaining fat is used to sauté the garlic, onions, peppers, celery, cilantro and fresh herbs (anything green really) for several minutes. I sometimes get lazy and use garlic powder instead, I know, it’s unforgivable, but that’s life. AutoMercado has the best selection of fresh herbs.

I then add peeled Italian tomatoes from the can, drained of liquid and crushed by hand, to the pan along with rosemary and a half cup (sometimes  more) of dry red wine. I then add celery, cilantro (coriander), hierba buena (peppermint) and anything else green, fresh, from the AutoMercado. The best deal on the tomatoes is Pricesmart, around ¢3,000 colones for the 166oz can (you can freeze what you don’t use for next time).

Next, add the sautéed chicken parts to the pan, cover and let it simmer. A glass of wine or two or three later (about an hour) and the cacciatore is ready for serving. If you forgot the fresh bread, I usually do, time to go out for some (but before the wine).


  • 1 chicken cut into 8 pcs
  • 1-28 oz can whole Italian peeled tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 4.5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • Two or three pieces of celery chopped
  • Cilantro (Coriander) to taste chopped
  • Fresh herbs (anything green) to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Oregano to taste
  • 2 tbs virgin olive oil (Pricesmart for the best buy)


  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking: 1 hour or so (this is when you go buy the fresh bread and drink the wine)
  • Serves: 4 (or one or two Italians)


  • 1 or 2 bottles of red wine
  • Fresh bread
  • Antipasto (proscuitto, capicollo cheese, olives, etc) while waiting for the chicken to cook
  • Green salad, for after the chicken: Italians always eat the salad last
  • Coffee, espresso, per piacere
  • Anything sweet, to go with the coffee

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