Adam Liaw’s dinner party-worthy chicken cacciatore

15 June 2024

  • Adam Liaw puts a budget twist on the classic Italian chicken cacciatore by swapping in chicken drumsticks.
  • “One of the most delicious ironies in food is that some of the cheapest cuts of meat and poultry are also the tastiest,” says Adam.
  • He recommends adding a stock cube as a simple trick for boosting the flavour and getting more bang for your buck. 

Adam Liaw shares a party-worthy recipe that won’t damage the hip pocket on The Brighter Side

Adam Liaw follows a simple cooking equation when it comes to how much money he spends on meat and poultry.

“One of the most delicious ironies in food is that some of the cheapest cuts of meat and poultry are also the tastiest – the thing that affects the price of your meat is time,” says Adam.

“A lot of cheaper cuts of meat take a little longer to cook, so if you don’t need something cooked in a hurry, trade off money for time and just get it on the stove for a little bit longer.”

That’s where Adam’s chicken drumstick cacciatore comes in. “Cacciatore is one of those dishes that you would describe as ‘rustic,’ and what that really means is you can use just about anything you like,” he says.

Instead of the bone-in chicken thigh pieces traditionally used in this Italian classic, Adam gives the dish a budget makeover and uses drumsticks instead. He also loads the dish with good-value fresh vegetables and gets bang for his buck by using a stock cube to intensify the flavour. It’s an affordable showstopper that’s perfect for serving up at your next dinner party.

Adam Liaw’s Leftover Fridge Fritters recipe

Adam Liaw’s chicken cacciatore recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4-6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg free-range chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 125mL red wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp finely shredded parsley, to serve


  1. Heat a wide-lidded casserole dish over medium heat and add the oil.
  2. Toss the chicken together with the flour and brown in batches in the casserole dish, removing when browned.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and stir for a minute (adding a little more oil if needed) then add the garlic, capsicum and mushrooms, stirring occasionally until the onions are lightly browned. Add the diced tomatoes, red wine, chicken stock cube, bay leaves, thyme, salt and sugar and one to two cups of water, scraping any browned bits from the base of the pot.
  4. Return the drumsticks to the pot. Bring to a simmer then cover and simmer at low heat for 40 minutes. Add the olives and simmer for a further 10 minutes uncovered.
  5. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before serving with a garnish of parsley.


For more recipes that are big on flavour but gentle on the household budget, don’t forget to tune into The Brighter Side every Saturday at 6pm. We’ll be adding new recipes here online every week so you can try them straight away! 

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