Chicken Cacciatore Over Polenta

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Chicken Cacciatore Over Polenta

This dish just radiates rustic deliciousness. Cacciatore in Italian means “hunter” so it is believed that at its earliest roots it was hunters who ate this dish. Our version, Chicken Cacciatore Over Polenta, carries on the same rustic tradition.

It is a great winter all-in-one meal that is hearty and bursting with complex flavor.

Preparing the Ingredients

The ingredients for this recipe require very little prep. Slice the onions with Cutco’s 7-5/8″ Petite Chef knife.

Slicing the onion with a Petite Chef.

The same knife can be used for slicing the peppers, but we also like the smooth slicing of the 7″ Santoku. Using multi-colored peppers in this cacciatore will add to its eye appeal.

Slicing the peppers with a Santoku.

Those are the only ingredients that require cutting. The garlic cloves are left whole, as are the olives, mushrooms and pecorino Romano cheese (note, if you can’t find a chunk of the cheese, just use regular grated).

For opening the cans of peeled and crushed tomatoes, the Cutco Can Opener works great. It is easy to use, no matter what size the can.

Opening the can with a Can Opener.

Once the ingredients are prepped and measured, have them all nearby so you can just toss them in as you go.

Cooking the Cacciatore

Dry the chicken drumsticks and thighs with a paper towel and then brown them by searing them in a large skillet. Patting the chicken dry before cooking will allow the skin to really crisp up.

After the chicken cooks, remove it from the pan but leave the juices that remain to cook down the onions and peppers. Using the pan juices adds even more flavor.

Keeping the garlic cloves whole adds great flavor and cooks them down so you can mash them on top of the chicken while eating.

With regard to the polenta, you can make your own from scratch, but it has always been tricky for me so I use the instant. Just make sure to not deviate from the package directions.

With its complex flavors, just one bite of this Chicken Cacciatore Over Polenta and it will easily become a family favorite in your house, too!

Chicken Cacciatore Over Polenta

Print Recipe


  • 2 or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to coat pan when searing chicken
  • 7 garlic cloves, whole
  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow pepper, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can peeled tomato
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomato
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 5 sticks of fresh thyme
  • Chunk of pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 cup of Kalamata olives
  • 1 8-ounce container of baby bella mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Instant polenta, prepare per directions


  1. In a large skillet or sauce pan over medium heat, heat oil and garlic until fragrant.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the drumsticks and thighs then brown on each side, about 4 minutes per side.
  3. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate but leave the juices in the pan.
  4. Add onions and peppers to the hot pan and allow them to cook down for approximately 10 minutes. 
  5. Add the wine and reduce the liquid.
  6. Add the chicken back into the pan as well as the tomatoes, herbs, cheese, olives and mushrooms. Cover and let cook together for 1 hour on low/simmer.
  7. Make your instant polenta according to directions. It’s just as yummy, we promise.
  8. To serve, put polenta on the bottom and top with the chicken cacciatore!

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