Hunter's Chicken is found across Northern Italy, with many variations. This version uses meaty bone-in chicken thighs and is full of onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. It's also delicious served over egg noodles.

Marialisa Calta
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2008


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are very soft and translucent, 2 to 4 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a bowl; set aside. Remove the pot from the heat.

  • Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour. Gently shake off any excess.

  • Cook the chicken in 2 batches in the Dutch oven, using 1 tablespoon oil for each batch. Cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  • Pour wine (or vermouth) into the pot and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, tomatoes, broth, bay leaves and rosemary. Return the reserved onions to the pan. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices, making sure each piece is partially submerged. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pan and cook, gently stirring once or twice, until the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour.

  • Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, water and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Partially cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and very creamy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, while you finish the stew.

  • Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Bring the liquid in the pan to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pan.

  • Gently stir in basil. Serve the stew over the polenta.


Make Ahead Tip: Make polenta (Step 5) about 1 hour before serving. Prepare stew through Step 6. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Reheat stew and stir in basil (Step 7).

Nutrition Facts

344 calories; protein 31.1g; carbohydrates 12.6g; dietary fiber 1.3g; sugars 4.9g; fat 15.9g; saturated fat 3.7g; cholesterol 100.4mg; vitamin a iu 351.3IU; vitamin c 8.4mg; folate 44.6mcg; calcium 33.8mg; iron 2.4mg; magnesium 35.8mg; potassium 743mg; sodium 454.1mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (6)

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9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
Surprised this is for 8! Thought this was great! Served over mashed potatoes instead of polenta but didnt think it went far enough for 8 people. Used only 6 thighs and it more or less was a serving for two. Pros: Great recipe Cons: Small Servings Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The flavors of this recipe are delicious! I want to try it with white meat. I'm not that fond of chicken thighs. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Used boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. Served over whole wheat potato gnocci. It was delicious! I added a little more chicken broth during cooking to keep it saucy for the gnocci. I also only used one large onion and chopped it finely. My husband is not a huge mushroom fan but loved this dish. This is a great dish to make in the cooler months. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I followed used gnocchi in this recipe as well as my husband does not care for polenta. This was extremely flavorful and it pleased men who don't love healthier meals. They all raved about it and have requested we have it again soon for Sunday dinner. Definitely a keeper. Also I made this the night before and put it in the crockpot the next day on low to reheat until we came home. It was great! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I made this without the cornmeal. This dish is delicious Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious!!! The rosemary makes this dish smells so delicious. I kept sniffing it while I was cooking.:) In all it's very tasty! I didn't have all the ingredients so I skipped a few like: dry wine and polenta (step 5). Also I used 1 can of dice tomato since I have it on hand. The result is still yummy. It was served with rice and salad! Will definitely make it again and again. Pros: Easy to make Read More
Rating: 5 stars
LOVE this dish served it with brown rice and salad. It was very delicious will recommend to all my friend's. Excellent!!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Tastes like Home LOVE this. I admit it took a fair amount of time to make but the end result was so worth it. And I highly recommend making it as is including the homemade polenta. The way it combines with the stew is just heavenly. Pros: Delicious flavor Cons: Takes a fair amount of time Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Didn't Live Up To Expectations I followed this recipe exactly. It smelled grate while cooking with the fresh rosemary. However it tasted so bland. I made a small amount of polenta and made egg noodles. I had to doctor it up considerably to make it edible. Will never make again Pros: Easy to make Cons: Bland and Boring Read More