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Chicken Cacciatore

A classic Italian dish.
Recipe Box
Chef Ryan Callahan
Author of Cooking for Chemo...and After! and Cooking for Kids with Cancer

Dish Description:

A classic Italian dish. Fairly popular in Italian restaurants until recently when it was disregarded and categorized as old fashioned. It is characterized by chicken breasts covered in tomatoes and veggies then baked in the oven until it is fork tender.

Tasting Guidelines:

  • Taste is savory, sweet, and a touch of spicy.
  • The weight is light but can be balanced with savory and sugar.
  • The texture is soft.
  • Good for people with low to moderate side effects.
  • Gives an emotional response of home cooked Italian goodness.
  • Best categorized as family style Italian fare.


  • 3 lbs. chicken breast, uncooked and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large can tomatoes, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz. Portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 c. peas (Snow peas if you can get them. Frozen peas work too.)
  • 1 zucchini, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced into medium strips, optionalk

Flavor Balancers:

  • ½ tbsp. Kosher salt, coarse
  • 1 c. red wine
  • ½ tbsp. black pepper
  • 3 shakes red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ c. sugar


  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed
Serve with a side of basmati rice or angel hair pasta tossed in olive oil, pepper, and Parmesan.

Recipe Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Pour ingredients into large casserole dish. (Several dishes may be required.)
  4. Bake uncovered for about an hour and a half or until sauce naturally thickens.

Slow Cooker Directions:

Mix all ingredients into a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Chicken should be fork tender and at least 165 degrees F before serving. Do not add extra liquid. A slow cooker retains almost all of the moisture and the naturally occurring moisture in all of the ingredients should be more than enough. Adjust seasonings before serving. Remember that Parmesan cheese will add salt and savoriness to the dish.

Chef Tip:

The beauty of this dish is that there is no wrong way to make it. The origin of this dish comes from the Italian “Pollo Alla Cacciatore,” which means chicken prepared in the style of a hunter. Simplified, we call this Hunters-style chicken. The intended expression of this dish is that you would throw whatever you had available, be it wild mushrooms, celery, carrots, or whatever else you could find in nature and cook it all together. Originally this would have been prepared with a whole chicken roasted over an open fire, perhaps using a Dutch oven or using some other similar camping style cookware. So when you prepare this dish, feel free to use whatever veggies you have available on hand, and don't beat yourself up about using the exact ingredients for accuracy.

For more information about Chef Ryan and Cooking for Chemo, visit

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