June 12, 2021


This Childhood Chicken Cacciatore recipe and I go way back. In fact, it was my first experience cooking and dining with a friend and will forever be a personal favorite!

This recipe and I go way back. In fact, it was my first experience cooking and dining with a friend (with pictures included of course!) My good friend Brendan visited after summer camp and prepared this exquisite chicken cacciatore (hence why now I titled it as Childhood Chicken Cacciatore haha). Because of this and good memories attached, it will forever be a personal favorite!

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“To me, food is as much about the moment, the occasion, the location and the company as it is about the taste.”— Heston Blumenthal

Childhood Chicken Cacciatore


  • 9 bone-in chicken thighs (3 lbs)
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • 2.5 cups sweet onions, sliced (about 2 large onions)
  • 2.5 cups red bell peppers, sliced (about 2-3 large peppers)
  • 3 Tbs garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted (or capers!)
  • 28 oz. (3.5 cups) San Marzano tomatoes, gently crushed using the back of a spoon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable/chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large cast iron pan or dutch oven to medium heat. In the meantime, season the chicken with salt and pepper and coat (aka dredge) in flour. (The flour also helps to thicken the sauce.) Add oil to the pan and sear each of the chicken pieces, working in batches if need be (making sure to leave space between so it doesn’t steam) for about 3-5 minutes per side or until golden (does not need to be thoroughly cooked, this is just to lock in the juices for the next steps). Remove from the skillet and set aside. Repeat the process with remaining pieces.
  2. Afterwards, reduce heat to medium then add the onions and peppers and sauté until softened (about 4-6 minutes), then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Next, pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the wine reduces to about half.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and adjust the seasonings to preference. Return the chicken by nestling the pieces into the sauce, skin side up.
  5. Transfer the dish into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and deepens in red color.
  6. When ready, garnish with fresh parsley and grated cheese. (Optional: spoon over creamy polenta or spaghetti.) Enjoy!


If you have leftover sauce, or choose to reserve 3 cups, you can sauté some andouille sausage, stir in the sauce, and merge with 1/4 cup pasta salted pasta water and 1 lb. cooked linguine. It is fantastic!

By the way, for a delicious creamy polenta recipe to pair visit the Kitchen Journal.