Chicken Cacciatore with Olives and Capers

Chicken Cacciatore with Olives and Capers

Cacciatore means ‘hunter’s stew’ in Italian. Traditionally, it would be made with whatever meat the hunter had on hand (often chicken or rabbit), cooked rustic-style with tomatoes, onions and herbs. Use chicken on the bone for maximum flavour, and serve with a hearty helping of al dente pasta. Winter, come at me!


Makes: 6 serves
15 minutes to prep; 1 hour to cook



6 chicken drumsticks, skin on

6 chicken thighs, skin on

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 red capsicum, diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

150g mushrooms, sliced

150ml dry white wine

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

200ml chicken stock

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs

1 bay leaf

zest of 1 lemon


Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken skin-side down and cook until nicely browned on both sides. You may need to do this in two batches. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the onion, celery, carrot and capsicum to the pan and sauté for 3–4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another minute.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the wine. Allow the wine to cook off for 1–2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, stock, olives, capers, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, herbs and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, cover, then place in the oven for 45 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the lid and bake for a further 15 minutes. Add the lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley to garnish. Serve with spaghetti.

Variation: This dish is Paleo-friendly if you serve it without spaghetti. Try it on a bed of kumara mash.