m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe is a combination of the one in Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen, by Joyce Goldstein, also available online, and the one in Classic Italian Jewish Cooking by Edda Servi Machlin.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 lbs chicken pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ c oil-cured black olives
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped OR about ¼ c tomato paste diluted in water
  • 1 T chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried, optional
  • 1 T chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried, optional
  • 1 T chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried, optional
  • ½ c dry red wine


  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Saute onions in the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and saute until golden on all sides.
  4. Add the olives, garlic, tomatoes and sage, rosemary and basil (if using).
  5. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the chicken is tender, about 25 minutes.
  6. Uncover the pan and add the red wine.
  7. Raise the heat to high and cook rapidly to reduce the pan juices.
  8. Adjust the seasonings.
  9. Transfer to a large warmed platter and sprinkle with more fresh herbs, if desired. Serve at once.


Instead of whole oil-cured olives, you can use coarsely chopped pitted black olives. I’ve also seen capers.

Some recipes include bell pepper and/or mushrooms.

You don’t need both onions and garlic.

One might peel the tomatoes, if one were so inclined, or even use canned, peeled tomatoes.

Measuring the spices is optional.