Chicken Cacciatore

/ Categories Tricks of the trade, Cooking conundrums, Alumni, Recipes / Author:

Chicken Cacciatore

With the sun failing to make much of an appearance so far this summer you will likely find your mind wandering to sunnier climes, transport yourself there with this traditional Italian dish bursting with juicy, seasonal flavours. And when the sun does eventually come out, you want to be able to make the most of it, this dish, with its small amount of preparation time means you can just pop it in the oven and let it bubble away whilst you see to far more important matters, like making the spritzes(!) Join Alan Rosenthal for our ultimate masterclass in one-pot cookery, where zingy flavours and fresh colours and textures rule on Saturday 6th July.



8 chicken thighs, skin on
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 bay leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
250ml white wine
900g cherry tomatoes, halved
Torn fresh basil leaves, to serve


  1. Season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a wide pan that has a lid and will fit the chicken thighs in one layer, then add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, along with the garlic cloves and bay leaves. Cook on a moderate heat for 5-7 minutes until the chicken skin is golden and crispy, then turn over and seal the second side for a minute or so. Transfer to a plate. You may need to do this in batches.
  2. Remove the garlic cloves from the pan and set aside for later. Tip the onion into the pan that was used to fry the chicken and cook it for 7-10 minutes on a moderate heat until soft.
  3. Add the wine, increase the heat and boil to reduce by about a half, then add the halved tomatoes. At this point squeeze out the garlic from their skins and put them into the pan. The garlic should be soft and pulpy so it will break down into the sauce as it cooks. Season with salt and black pepper and allow the tomatoes to cook for about 15 minutes on a moderate heat until they have turned pulpy and started to thicken a little.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to the tomato, pushing them down into the sauce. Cook on a moderate heat for another 30 minutes until the chicken is ready and the sauce has become rich, thick and fruity with reduced tomato juices.
  5. During cooking, give the pan regular shakes and scrapes to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Also, it's a good idea to turn the chicken thighs over halfway through to make sure they cook evenly.
  6. Serve sprinkled with some torn basil leaves.

Author: Alan Rosenthal

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