Hunter's Chicken or Chicken Cacciatore

Pairs Well With

Serves 4


1 3-4 pound chicken, cut into pieces

1/4 t salt & pepper

1/2 cup flour

7 T olive oil

1 small white onion, diced

2 bay leaves

3/4 lb mushrooms, quartered (mixed wild or button)

4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced

4 T pancetta or bacon, thickly sliced

1/2 t red pepper flakes 

3 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup Pedroncelli Petite Sirah

1-1 Pound can peeled Italian tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup tomato sauce



Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, pepper and flour, shaking to remove the excess flour. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick high sided fry pan set on high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until well browned, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Save the chicken fat left in the pan, adding enough oil to make 4 tablespoons. Cook the onion, bay leaves and mushrooms over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, pancetta, red pepper flakes and half of the parsley and cook for 3 more minutes. Pour in the wine and cook for 3 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in the flavorful pan residues. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the stock, tomato sauce and browned chicken pieces. Break the tomatoes into smaller pieces with the back of a spoon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or more-longer makes the chicken more tender. Editor's note: I cooked the chicken nearly 2 hours and it was very good.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Cook the sauce 15 minutes more. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and serve.