Chicken Cacciatore.

“Hunter’s Chicken” is a traditional Italian recipe with as many interpretations as there are hunters. More conventional renderings would use whole chicken breasts, or chicken quarters, and fresh capsicums and tomatoes. My take on this is based on the need to make a large quantity that can be put into plastic containers and frozen for later use. It was also made in winter when fresh vegetables – particularly capsicums – are at a premium. I was damned if I was going to pay $NZ4.99 for a red capsicum grown 20,000k away in Holland, so I settled for a jar of Turkish smoked capsicum and a can of Italian crushed tomatoes [on special at the Supermarket for 99¢.


1kg diced lean chicken meat.

½ cup olive oil.

2 medium onions, thinly sliced.

1 680g jar smoked red peppers, rinsed and thinly sliced.

6 garlic cloves, chopped.

1 cup white wine.

Salt to taste.

2 tsp dried oreganum.

Cayenne pepper to taste.

1 400g can crushed tomatoes.

36 whole button mushrooms, stems removed.


Prepare the meat and vegetables and set aside. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a hot flame and seal the meat all over. Remove the meat and reserve. Add the onion, capsicum and garlic to the pan and chow for 4-5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the wine, salt, origanum and cayenne pepper, stir through and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomato and the meat to the mixture, bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the meat is cooked through.

Place six mushrooms in each of six 500ml plastic containers. When the mixture is cooked, distribute the solid product evenly between the containers, then the liquid. Top up with a little water if required, seal with lids, label and freeze. Each container holds 2 servings.

Thaw, microwave through and serve with rice or over pasta with a crisp green salad on the side.

Yield: 12 servings.


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