30 minute Chicken Cacciatore

A few weeks ago, Mike and I decided to sleep in late and then after breakfast hung out watching a little TV.  We watched Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals.  He made a 15 minute Cacciatore {which is Italian for hunter's stew}, which inspired me to give it a try.   Okay, I went over the 15 minutes, but that's because I forgot to start boiling the water for the pasta before prepping the meat and veggies.  I have no doubts that you can make this meal in 30 minutes, like me.  Feel free to brag to me if you did it in 15 minutes! 

To shave off time, Jamie used skinless, boneless meat.  If using bone-in chicken your cooking time can increase to 60 minutes.  I strayed from Jamie's recipe a little by blending in some ingredients found in a recipe from my Italian cooking vacation.   There are subtle differences between the two recipes; the Italian version calls for using white wine, but Jamie's recipe called for Chianti (red wine).  Both agreed on pancetta and rosemary, but differed on the mushrooms and onions (I used both).  

It is easy to overcook the chicken since it is cut into small cubes.  One tip: brown the meat, then set it aside while the sauce is reducing.  Once the pasta gets dropped into the boiling water, add the chicken back to the skillet to warm through.     

I hope you and your family enjoys this quick and hearty meal.  Here's to good food and gladness!


CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.  This recipe serves 4 to 6 people

Ingredients for Chicken Cacciatore

  • 2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken (thighs or breast), cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 8 oz of mushrooms (oyster or portabella)
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small white onion, rough chop
  • 12 pitted olives (black or kalamata) 
  • 1  peperoncino (or red pepper flakes)
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley or basil
  • 3/4 cup of wine (Chianti or dry white)
  • 12 oz of canned whole organic tomatoes (crush tomato by hand prior to cooking) or if in season 20 fresh cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed for sauteing
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • spaghetti noodles (enough for 4 to 6 people)

Directions for Chicken Cacciatore

  1. In a large stock pot, boil salted water for spaghetti.
  2. Cube chicken into 1 inch chunks.  (Don't forget to use safe food handling techniques by bleaching the cutting board after you cut chicken to avoid cross contamination with the veggies.) Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, then cook chicken until sides are browned.  Set chicken aside.
  3. Saute onion, pancetta, rosemary, and bay leaf in skillet, adding olive oil as needed.  Add wine and crushed tomatoes.  Check taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Add peperoncino.  Reduce heat to low and allow liquid to reduce by half.  Add pasta water if liquid gets too low.
  4. Cook spaghetti in boiling water until al dente.  Add chicken back to the skillet while the spaghetti is cooking to warm through about 7-8 minutes.
  5. Rough chop the parsley or basil and add to skillet just prior to serving.
  6. Serve chicken cacciatore over the spaghetti.  May garnish with Parmesan cheese.