paleo chicken cacciatore

Paleo Chicken Cacciatore

This paleo chicken cacciatore is a gluten-free, version of the Italian ‘hunter’s stew.’ It should be naturally gluten-free, but these days people put all kinds of things in their stews to thicken it up. I just use tomato paste. Traditionally, this stew is made up of whatever the hunter’s catch of the week was, such as rabbit or pheasant, combined with seasonal vegetables. Now it is commonly made with chicken, peppers and mushrooms. I like to throw in some spinach or other leafy green right at the end, to make sure we’re getting a good dose nutrients.


1 Tablespoon oil, divided
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs.)
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, diced
3 bell peppers, sliced
12 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes (no added ingredients and BPA-free if possible!)
1 28 oz. can of strained tomatoes or tomato sauce (no added ingredients)
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves, torn in half
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh oregano


Preheat oven to 350.

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high. Salt and pepper chicken thighs, and working in batches, place thighs in bottom of pot. Do not overcrowd. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove thighs from pan, pull off skins, and return skins to the pan to make them crispier if needed, about a minute or two more. Remove skins, and serve to your family as a snack or appetizer. Don’t fear the fat! You need it! Repeat the process until all thighs are browned and skins removed.

Add onion to pan and cook until sweating,**  stirring and loosening up any browned bits. Add the peppers, garlic and mushrooms, and cook until peppers are sweating. Add the stewed tomatoes, strained tomatoes (or tomato sauce), tomato paste, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Stir a few times, then add the chicken thighs, submerging them in the liquid.

Place the Dutch oven in the oven and bake for one hour, or until the chicken falls off the bone easily. Remove from the oven and add the spinach and fresh herbs, stirring until wilted. Serve with a root vegetable mash.


** for low FODMAPs, continue to cook, with garlic, until softened. Then strain and return oil to pan.

Heather Jacobsen

Using my MSc to unravel the health & science behind grains, gluten & the gluten-free/paleo lifestyle. Foodie, photographer, mommy.

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