Chicken Cacciatore


I recently picked up a Step by Step Italian Recipes magazine by America’s Test Kitchen and came upon a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore. Prepared the proper Italian way. I’ve made Chicken Cacciatore for years and years but a bit differently than the Test Kitchens. So I thought I’d try their recipe to see which we liked better. I’m always about changing things up.


6-8 bone in chicken thighs (I used 2 thighs, 2 legs)

salt and pepper

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

3 portobello mushroom caps cubed (I used baby Bellas)

4 garlic cloves

1 1/2 T AP flour

1 1/2 cups dry red wine

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes drained

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 Parmesan cheese rind

2 tsp minced fresh thyme and 2 tsp minced fresh sage (I used basil)


Heat oil in a Dutch oven to shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, until browned. About 4 minutes per side.

image image

Remove the chicken to a plate and drain off all but about a tablespoon of the drippings. Add the vegetables and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender. (I also added a sweet orange bell pepper.). Season with salt.

image image

Add minced garlic and cook another minute until fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute stirring constantly.

image image

Add the wine scraping up browned bits. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Season with salt and pepper.

image image

Remove the skin from the chicken and submerge the chicken into the gravy as well as the Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 45-60 minutes.

image image

Discard the rind before serving. Taste the gravy and season to taste. Serve over the pasta of your choosing.


I served it over spaghetti with grated asiago. It was good. But the consensus at our house was the not-authentic cacciatore is better. Sorry Test Kitchen.

Cook the chicken the same as referenced above. The way I’ve always made the gravy for cacciatore begins with dicing 5-6 slices of bacon. I cook the bacon until most of the fat is rendered but the bacon isn’t crisp. Drain off most of the fat and cook the vegetables (mushrooms, onion, and peppers) until tender.  Add the garlic and basil.  Cook until fragrant. Stir in 1 T of tomato paste. Stir in 1/2 cup of dry red wine scraping up any browned bits.  Stir in 1 quart of tomatoes. Add the bacon, Parmesan rind, and submerge the chicken into the gravy. Cook 45-60 minutes.   Serve over the pasta of your choosing.

You see the difference. A lot more tomato, a lot less wine. And bacon. My daughter says everything is better with bacon. And in this recipe I agree.

Try it both ways. Try it somewhere in between. Cooking is all about experimenting with recipes until you find something that tastes great to you.

Let me know what you think.

Succotash Reinvented


Succotash consists primarily of sweet corn and Lima beans.  Mostly Lima beans.  Frequently when we would visit my mother-in-law  she would say, “I made your favorite!  Lima beans.”  But Lima beans really are not a favorite at our house. We’ve been out of town for several days and I was looking in the fridge for something to make for a side dish.   I had a few ears of fresh corn from a cookout we had before we left, a poblano pepper, and some asparagus so I decided to reinvent succotash to suit our palates.


4 ears of fresh corn cut off the cob

1 bunch of asparagus spears chopped

1 poblano pepper seeded and rough chopped

1/2 cup of red onion rough chopped

good drizzle of olive oil

salt and coarse black pepper to taste


Preheat your broiler.

Toss all of the ingredients together and spread out on a baking sheet covered in foil. Drizzle with olive oil and add a generous amount of cracked pepper and salt to taste.


Broil for 15-20 minutes stirring a couple times. Cook until you have a little char on the vegetables.


Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Tonight we had smoked pork chops, smashed cauliflower and the succotash.


The succotash would be good with red or orange bell peppers, fresh green beans, or, if you like, Lima beans. Enjoy.