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Chicken Cacciatore With Polenta

Chicken alla Cacciatora served on creamy parmesan polenta in a pink bowl.
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Simple, yet hearty and flavoursome, this Italian “hunter’s chicken” recipe is perfect for the colder autumn or winter evenings. A one-pan dish, Chicken alla Cacciatora is easy to prepare and requires minimal hands-on time, and very little washing up! We served our version of Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta Mash – it’s the best pairing!

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What is Chicken Cacciatore?

“Cacciatore” is an Italian word for “hunter.” It is no surprise that Italian hunter’s chicken is a rustic, no-fuss chicken dish that only uses staple ingredients, such as chicken, tomatoes, and simple everyday vegetables. Some versions have wine in the sauce, others add various different vegetables, herbs and spices, but our version can be made with staple ingredients that you’d normally buy in your weekly shop!

Italian Hunters Chicken on Creamy polenta on a white striped plate with red rim.

Ingredients and Substitutions

For Chicken Cacciatore

  • chicken thighs: we used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but more traditionally bone-in, skin-on thighs and drumsticks are used. Note though, that if you are using bone-in chicken, it will take slightly longer to cook. Also, make sure to brown the chicken skin side down properly to render the fat of the chicken skin.
  • brown onion: can be substituted with red or white onion, or even a couple of shallots.
  • carrot: can be substituted with sweet potato or butternut squash cubes.
  • garlic cloves
  • pepper: red, yellow or green.
  • chestnut mushrooms
  • passata: can be substituted with tinned chopped tomatoes. Or simply mix 3 tbsp of rich concentrated tomato paste with water to make 200ml of passata.
  • chicken stock: can be substituted with vegetable stock.
  • mixed herbs: or Italian seasoning.
Ingredients for Chicken Cacciatore on a wooden chopping board.

For Creamy Parmesan Polenta

  • polenta: use medium, if you can. Alternatively, substitute with medium cornmeal.
  • stock: vegetable or chicken stock will be great in this recipe.
  • parmesan: can be substituted with Grana Padano.
  • butter
Ingredinets for Creamy Parmesan Polenta on a wooden chopping board.

Method

STEP 1: Make Chicken Cacciatore

Heat two tbsp of odourless oil in a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Add the chicken thighs to the pan, sprinkle them with mixed herbs and fry them for approx. 3 minutes on each side. Remove them from the pan, cover and keep warm.

To the chicken pan, add the onions, carrot, pepper and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the quartered mushrooms and carry on cooking for another 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and add the passata and stock. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, and add the chicken thighs back in together with any released liquid. Then cover with a lid and leave to cook for approx 20 minutes.

Chicken thighs covered in tomato and vegetable sauce in a frying pan.

STEP 2: Make Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Pour 400 ml of hot vegetable stock into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a steady stream, pour the polenta in, whisking continuously. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the parmesan and butter and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning.

Parmesan and butter being mixed into the creamy polenta.

Spoon the polenta into bowls and top with Chicken Cacciatore. Scatter parsley on top to garnish and serve.

What Does Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta Pair Well With?

We love serving this Chicken Cacciatore with Creamy Parmesan Polenta, but it tastes absolutely delicious with Creamy Potato Mash or even fluffy white rice.

But of course, no dish would be complete without some lovely greens. Our Italian Hunter’s Chicken goes exceptionally well with:

Chicken cacciatore garnished with parsley.

Other Chicken Recipes

Who doesn’t like a flavoursome chicken dinner? We know we do! Here are some of our other simple, yet delicious chicken recipes:

Recipe Card

Chicken alla Cacciatora served on creamy parmesan polenta in a pink bowl.

Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta

Simple, yet hearty and flavoursome, this Italian "hunter's chicken" recipe is perfect for the colder autumns or winter evenings. A one-pan dish, Chicken alla Cacciatora is easy to prepare and requires minimal hands on time, and very little washing up! We served our version of Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta Mash – it's the best pairing!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 3 portions
Calories 759 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For Chicken Cacciatore:

  • 6 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • 1 brown onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 160 g chestnut mushrooms quartered
  • 200 ml passata
  • 1/2 stock cube + 60 ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs

For Creamy Parmesan Polenta:

  • 150 g medium polenta
  • 600 ml stock hot
  • 60 g parmesan finely grated
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions
 

Make Chicken Cacciatore:

  • Heat two tbsp of odourless oil in a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Add the chicken thighs to the pan, sprinkle them with mixed herbs and fry them for approx. 3 minutes on each side. Remove tjem from the pan, cover and keep warm.
  • To the chicken pan, add the onions, carrot, pepper and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the quartered mushrooms and carry on cooking for another 4 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the passata and stock. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, add the chichen thighs back in together with any released liquid. Then cover with a lid and leave to cook for approx 20 minutes.

Make Creamy Parmesan Polenta:

  • Pour 400 ml of hot vegetable stock into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a steady stream, pour the polenta in, whisking continuously. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the parmesan and butter and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning.
  • Spoon the polenta into bowls and top with Chicken Cacciatore. Scatter parsley on top to garnish and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 759kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 45gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 222mgSodium: 1173mgPotassium: 1228mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 4523IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chicken Alla Cacchiatora, Chicken Cacciatore, Hunter’s Chicken, Italian Hunter’s Chicken
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7 Replies to “Chicken Cacciatore With Polenta”

  1. 5 stars
    Loved it…so good and so flavorful and perfectly balanced taste. Well explained recipe and my family devoured it.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave such wonderful feedback! So glad you all enjoyed it 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Such a really perfect fall meal!! This is so good and easy to make! Will have this on our menu all fall long! Thanks!

    1. Absolutely! We cook it almost every week over fall and winter!

  3. 5 stars
    This chicken is so good, particularly with the creamy polenta!

    1. Oh yes! Polenta is the best pairing to this chicken, in our opinion!

  4. 5 stars
    I love the simple ingredients in this recipe that pack such big flavor!

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