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Whole chicken cacciatore stew with bucatini pasta

This whole chicken cacciatore stew is a traditional Italian recipe. Bucatini pasta cooked in the tomato sauce makes it a complete dinner!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword chicken, pasta, stew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 5 -6
Author The Hungry Bites


  • 1 medium whole chicken bone –in, skin-on (ask your butcher to cut it into 6 or 8 pieces). Alternatively you can use 6 chicken legs.
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 star anise, whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups pureed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10-15 Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil

  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • Grated parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Pat dry the chicken pieces very well with a paper towel (it will reduce oil-splashing during sautéing).
  2. Heat a deep, large pot over medium/high heat. Add the olive oil and chicken pieces and sauté, without stirring, until well browned on one side. This stage is very important because browning will give flavor to the final dish. When chicken is ready, it will not stick to the pot anymore.

    Using tongs, turn chicken from the other side and brown well.

    Transfer chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

  3. In the same pot, add the onion, garlic, star anise, bay leaves and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Add a bit more olive oil if required.

    Cook until onion is soft and translucent, then add the chicken pieces back to the pot.

  4. Add the wine, the pureed tomatoes, and the salt. If needed, add enough water to cover the chicken by two-thirds approximately. Cover the pot and when it starts to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is fork tender, about 30-45 minutes. Halfway through, flip chicken pieces using tongs.
  5. When chicken is done, cook the pasta according to the packaging, but 1 minute less.

    Transfer chicken pieces on a clean plate, drain the pasta and add it to the pot with the tomato sauce. Add the basil and olives and cook for one minute to absorb some of the sauce.

  6. Serve the chicken cacciatore with the bucatini pasta and some grated parmesan cheese.