Rachael's Chicken Cacciatore
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Rachael's Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com.

Loaded with fresh herbs and earthy porcini mushrooms, this rustic Italian dish is hearty and satisfying.


  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, about 1 cup

  • 2 cups chicken stock, or half-n-half chicken and beef stock

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 turns of the pan

  • 8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken, I use a mix of breast and thigh

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 pound meaty pancetta, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 2 celery with leafy tops, chopped

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 small leek, quartered lengthwise and chopped

  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

  • 1 scant tablespoon red chili paste, or 1 fresh red chili, finely chopped, or 1 ½ teaspoons chili flakes

  • 1 generous bundle rosemary and thyme, tied with kitchen string (a small handful of each)

  • 2 large fresh bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon juniper, 1/3 palmful (optional)

  • 4 tablespoons sundried tomato paste, or tomato paste

  • 1 cup red wine

  • One 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes or canned tomatoes

  • One 24-ounce jar passata or tomato puree, 3 cups

  • 1 pound rigatoni, pici, bucatini or pappardelle pasta

  • Pecorino cheese, to toss and to serve

  • Chopped parsley, to serve


Place rack at center oven and preheat to 350˚F.

In a small pot over medium heat, simmer the dried mushrooms and the stock to reconstitute the mushrooms and flavor the stock.

In a large Dutch oven with a lid, heat 3 tablespoons oil, 3 turns of the pan. Add 4 pieces of chicken at a time, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown chicken skin-side down, then turn, browning each batch about 8 minutes. Remove and drain off excess fat, leaving an even layer about equal to the original layer but now it will be a mix of chicken fat and olive oil. Add the pancetta and stir 2 minutes, then add the carrot, celery, onion, leek, garlic, chili paste or chilies, herb bundle and bay, cook to soften 8 minutes more, add in juniper and then tomato paste, stir a minute, add wine, add tomatoes and break them up, add passata and the mushrooms and stock, stir to combine, then nest the chicken carefully into the pot, bring to a boil, cover and place in oven for 1 hour.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta the last 10-15 minutes of the chicken’s roasting time.

When the chicken comes out, transfer the meat to a platter and cover with a little foil. Remove the herb bundle and bay from the sauce and keep at a simmer, whisking to thicken and combine.

Salt boiling water and cook pasta 1-2 minutes shy of package directions, reserving a cup of the cooking water just before draining. Combine pasta with half the sauce, cooking water, about 1 cup of cheese, adding more sauce to liking.

Serve chicken topped with a bit more sauce alongside pasta with a sprinkle of parsley, and pass more cheese at table.

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