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Umbrian-Style Chicken alla Cacciatora

4 Servings

45 minutes

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Umbria, in central Italy, is home to a tomato-free version of chicken alla cacciatora. Instead, the rustic braise gets it character from lemon, olives, garlic and herbs. Capers also are customary, but we opted instead to use pancetta to build rich, savory depth. We simmer strips of lemon zest into the sauce to infuse the dish with subtle citrusy notes. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to plane off wide strips of zest from the fruit; each piece should be roughly 2 to 3 inches long. You will need a 12-inch oven-safe skillet for this recipe. Keep in mind that when you remove the pan from the oven, the handle will be hot; it’s a good idea to slip an oven mitt over the handle as a reminder.




Don’t place the chicken skin side down on the plate when removing the thighs after browning. Make sure to flip them unbrowned side down to prevent the skin from becoming soggy. When retuning the thighs to the pan, place them skin side up, and don’t forget to pour in the accumulated juices.

45 minutes


  • 3

    pounds, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Bill O.
October 25, 2022
Great variation
I'm used to making excellent tomato based cacciatore but liked the looks of this recipe. Glad I made it, it was delicious.
Mary E.
March 21, 2023
Interesting take on Cacciatora!
Not as well-loved as our tomato-based recipes but a nice meal when paired with couscous. Made it with boneless skinless thighs and because it's not spring yet used dried rosemary rather than fresh. Liked the combination of green and black olives. Would perhaps add some artichoke hearts if making again.
Michael Y.
October 28, 2023
This is inanely delicious. The only hitch with this recipe is that it is challenging to eat a bone-in chicken thigh with sauce and the sauce is what makes this so good. Try it.
Gordon L.

This is a really excellent flavor profile! I added a little chicken stock during baking and a little more wine while reducing the sauce. This is a keeper!

Ilene J.

I used both chicken breasts and thighs, otherwise making this outstanding recipe exactly as written. This is my newest all-time favorites. Simply delicious.

Barbara G.

This is just darn yummy! And a great dish for weeknights! Chicken was moist, flavorful and well seasoned.