Utah Bites

Bianco’s Chicken Cacciatore

I recently came across a recipe that was much better than any chicken cacciatore I’ve made before. It’s a recipe from Chris Bianco.


For many years, I’ve made Italian-style chicken cacciatore and was always happy with the results. However, I recently came across a recipe that was much better than any chicken cacciatore I’ve made before. It’s a recipe from Chris Bianco, James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of the much-lauded Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. His cookbook titled simply Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like contains his terrific recipe for chicken cacciatore and I’m happy to share it with you here. 


  • 1 free-range chicken (about 3 lbs.)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 1 ½ cups white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of dried oregano, preferably wild
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Cut your chicken into 8 pieces: 2 breast halves, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 drumsticks. (You can save the neck and backbone for making stock.)
  3. Set a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, in batches, and sear the pieces until golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 
  4. Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes,m stirring occasionally, to get the veggies coated in the drippings and charred bits. 
  5. Return the chicken to the pot and give it a gentle stir to help marry everything, then add the wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and let it bubble for about 5 minutes. 
  6. When the wine is reduced by about half, add the tomatoes, with their juices, and use a wooden spoon to gently crush the tomatoes and bring everything together. Season with the red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper. 
  7. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and pop it into the oven for 1 hour. Then uncover, increase the oven temperature to 400 F. and bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the meat slips easily off the bone. Serve hot. 

Serving suggestion: Serve the chicken with pasta, potatoes, or rice. 


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Food writer Ted SchefflerOriginally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.

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