gut healing chicken cacciatore. will heal you of anything!

The Italian Grandmother’s Chicken Soup- Chicken Cacciatore

Funny story: I’m the youngest offspring of a Sicilian and Irish family.  My grandfather was an immigrant from Sicily but we know little about our family history or heritage and all the elders slightly disagree on the details.  I learned just a few recipes  from my father and I am sure that each generation put their own spin on these recipes. When he taught me how to make this one, he told me that cacciatore meant “stew” in Italian.  He was kinda wrong. It actually means “hunter” but maybe he meant “hunter’s stew” and I’m the silly goose. Either way, he makes a delicious chicken cacciatore.  And now, like every generation before me, I’ve modified his recipe to make it my own version of this family tradition.  It is, in my opinion, an even better  than grandma’s soup: it’s the Italian grandma’s chicken soup.  And as we all know, everything is better when it’s Italian, right? To make this truly paleo and allergy friendly, you will need to make sure your products are allergen free (Most contain corn or dairy or other preservatives or additives).   Or you will have to make your sauce from scratch… which really isn’t that hard but that is another cooking lesson:) locate the best quality ingredients, when applicable.  If you need a recommendation, I have included affiliate links for your convenience.  For my full disclosure policy click here.

For this Italian hunter’s stew, feel free to use what ever vegetables you have on hand.

For my AIP and CEP followers who have not introduced tomatoes, I would sub the tomato sauce with Nomato Sauce.  A recommendation was given to me for the recipe here.  I would make a large batch and freeze or can my own for future uses.  Marinara is so versatile, it is definitely something to make in a large batch!

You will need

  • A large stock pot
  • One half of a whole chicken, cut into parts.
  • 1 quart bone broth
  • 2 quarts tomato sauce.  I used store bought spaghetti sauce with no added sugar, corn, gluten, dairy or preservatives (this is one) but you can also use canned tomato sauce with no added ingredients. (this one is free of additives).  Of course, for the elimination phase of AIP, use the Nomato Marinara Sauce mentioned above with link provided.
  • 1/2 to 1  tbs. dried oregano (or to taste).
  • 1/2 to 1 tbs. dried basil (or to taste)
    • the lesser amount is for mild and the greater amount is for more zesty
    • If using Nomato Sauce, then it is probably already seasoned but if you want to add more to taste, use your best judgement.  This goes for both of the herbs above as well as the onions and garlic.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (unless your bone broth is already salted)
  • 5 large cloves fresh chopped garlic
  • 8 cups vegetables.  I used the measurements that follow: but any combination of the vegetables that you like are good.
    • 2 cups onions or leeks
    • 4 cups zucchini- can be chopped or made into zucchini noodles that are added approximately 10 to 20 minutes before eating time.
    • 2 cups broccoli
    • Note: I added more vegetables the next day to the second half (another four cups with only half the “sauce” in the pot) and 8 more ounces of chicken- they wouldn’t fit until the first round of vegetables shrunk as a result of cooking.

Italian flavors make this chicken stew extra comforting


This is one of the easiest things you will ever cook.  You will literally just put everything in a stock pot and bring to a medium simmer with slight bubbling then turn to low and put a lid on.  You will let it simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, until the chicken is falling off the bone.  Alternatively, You could cook this in a crockpot on low for 4 to 6 hours.  As with most recipes based on tomatoes, it is always even better the second time you eat it, so make plenty and eat on it (or freeze it) for a second meal.  Top with some sautéed spinach, kale or collard greens and you have a complete bowl of healing, comforting nutrition.

I hope you enjoy this (I know you will ) and I guarantee it will be a family crowd pleaser! So grab a bowl, snuggle up with your family and enjoy this warm bowl of comfort food.

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