Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Big Joe’s Big Chicken Cacciatore [Recipe]

I first made this recipe back in the mid 80’s while I was living and working for a short time in LA. I was living and hanging out with my Uncle Pete, a great cook in his own right. I was craving the “old world” flavor of a good cacciatore and think I hit upon a recipe that ended up being quite pleasant.

I’ve tasted many different recipes for cacciatore and the one thing I don’t like about other recipes that I have sampled is that some chefs make this dish more like a watery stew rather then a hearty textured dish. In my opinion the excess water poaches the chicken and wilts the fresh vegetables.

Try this on for size and see how you like it. Uncle Pete loved it.


8 chicken drum sticks

8 chicken thighs

¼ cup of olive oil

½ cup of flour for dredging

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 ½ stalks of coarsely chopped celery

1 green or red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

¾ cup of carrots diced

10-12 button mushrooms (white), cut into ¼ pieces

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cloves of finely chopped garlic

2 ½ tablespoons of drained capers

2 ½ teaspoons of oregano

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 ½ cup of dry red wine (Chianti, merlot, cabernet)

1 can of diced tomatoes (28oz.), include juice

¼ – cup of chopped flat Italian parsley

How to put it together:

Salt and pepper the chicken and then dredge in flour. In a large Dutch oven pan, add ½ the oil heat over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in batches about 5 – 7 minutes per side. Once golden brown remove chicken and set aside.

Discard excess oil, but don’t scrape the pan. Add remaining oil and once oil is hot add celery, onions, carrots, mushrooms and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium – medium-low and stir vegetables scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the pieces up. Cook vegetables for a total of 10 – 12 minutes.

Add garlic and oregano and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the red wine and increase heat to high. Stir constantly adding tomato paste. Mix sauce well, add tomatoes, lower the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally. Add capers and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add chicken back to pan, cover and place in oven, cook for about 35 minutes. Remove chicken from pan to plate, cover with foil to keep warm. Skim off excess fat from the surface. Bring pan over high heat on stove to a quick boil to reduce sauce. Add parsley. Stir and then ladle sauce over chicken and serve. Serves 6.

This recipe comes from Big Joe Henry’s Big Jersey Cookbook

Click here for more of Big Joe’s Weekend Recipes


Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.