Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Matty Matheson shows us how to make chicken cacciatore the way his family does, and spoiler alert, it's pretty fucking great.
October 3, 2018, 1:00pm
Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Photo by Quentin Bacon

Servings: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 ½ hours


For the Sunday Gravy:
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
48 grams whole garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
2 teaspoons dried red chile flakes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (28-ounce|794-gram) cans tomato puree

For the chicken:
olive oil
8 chicken legs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup|155 grams Cerignola olives, pitted
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 cup|240 ml chicken stock
4 cups|960 ml Sunday Gravy
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried red chile flakes
1 pound|455 grams linguini pasta


  1. Make the Sunday Gravy: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the sliced garlic to the pot and cook until golden brown. Then add the tomato paste; cook 5 minutes to cook out the tin flavor and develop the rich, deep flavor tomato paste is made for.
  2. Add the tomato puree. You don’t want it too thick right now, as it’s going to cook at least 3 hours, and as it cooks, it will concentrate. We will cook it to the consistency we desire. Don’t turn the heat to high to bring it to a boil. We have to bring it up slowly to make sure nothing burns. It may take almost an hour to start bubbling and simmering the way we want it to. Once it starts simmering, turn down the heat even lower. Stir the pot gently. Cook 3 hours.
  3. Make the chicken cacciatore: In a Dutch oven, pour ½ inch (12 mm) of oil and set over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the pot.You should fit three to four legs; don’t overcrowd the pot. Sear until the chicken is golden brown; remove, set aside on a plate, and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. Place the olives, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic in the pot; cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and reduce the liquid by half, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pot and cover with the gravy. Add the oregano and chile flakes. Bring to a slow boil, then turn down the heat to low; simmer 30 minutes.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta as the label directs. This pasta cooks very quickly—to ensure you get al dente noodles, do not walk away once you drop your noodles. Drain the water. Place some noodles on a plate. Remove two chicken legs from the pot. Shred the meat and toss into the noodles. Divide the noodles onto 6 plates and top each plate with one chicken leg. Ladle sauce on top. Boom—you’ve got a beautiful chicken cacciatore.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This recipe has been reprinted by permission of the author from Matty Matheson: A Cookbook.

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