Chicken Cacciatore is a classic Italian dish, where chicken is braised to tender perfection in a well seasoned tomato based sauce.
It is a rustic dish with plenty of fresh herbs, veggies, and usually a good splash of wine. The next time those Italian cravings hit, make this restaurant quality dish in your own kitchen…
Something magical happens when chicken braises for a long time. It becomes tender and succulent, while absorbing the surrounding flavors.
We’ve been cooking this Cacciatore for years, and decided it was finally time to share it with you.
What is Chicken Cacciatore
Cacciatore translates to “hunter” in Italian. Alla Cacciatore means “hunter-style”, so this dish is hunter-style chicken.
A rustic, homestyle recipe, Chicken Cacciatore is made of chicken braised with tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs and vegetables, usually bell peppers and mushrooms.
Wine is usually added in. In southern Italy, red wine is typically used, while white wine is more common in the north.
It is a very customizable dish with plenty of variations. So if you’re missing an ingredient here or there, you can still make a great Cacciatore.
- Chicken – We prefer whole thighs for this recipe. They turn out great when braised for a long time. Whole cut up chicken is another good option.
- Tomato – Crushed and paste.
- Other veggies – Onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrot, and black olives.
- Herbs and Spices – Thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, red chili flakes, salt and pepper.
- Red wine
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat, then sear the chicken on both sides to brown it up. Plate it out.
In the same pot, add in onion, sauté 5 minutes. Then, add bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and herbs. Cook for 7-8 minutes.
Add wine, deglaze the pot, cook for 5 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and red chili flakes. Cook for 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot, along with olives. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
Tip: Although chicken thighs they are safe to eat at 165°F, we prefer them at 185-190°F. This is when they become fall off the bone tender.
- A common Cacciatore variation in Italy is to make it with rabbit.
- Use whatever veggies are in season. Zucchini, celery or eggplant would go well in Cacciatore.
- Try substituting the red wine for white. Or, use red or balsamic vinegar.
- For added brininess, add in some capers.
How to Serve Chicken Cacciatore
This can go well with a variety of starchy sides, such as pasta, rice, mashed potatoes or polenta.
Sometimes we eat it more as a stew with a side of our crusty No Knead Bread.
Leftovers and Storage
Make a big batch and enjoy this delicious dish for a few days, as it keeps on getting better. Store it in an air tight container up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
This freezes beautifully too, up to 3-4 months. Simply thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat it on the stovetop, adding a dash of water if necessary.
Give this classic homestyle Chicken Cacciatore a try the next time you crave some great Italian flavors. It takes a little time, but the end result is so worth it.
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Chicken Cacciatore, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 6 bone in, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 small bell peppers (any color), diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup red wine
- 28oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 cup black olives
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a dutch over over medium high heat. Generously season chicken with salt and pepper, then sear in the preheated pot for 5-6 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
- In the same pot, add in onion, sauté 5 minutes.
- Add bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and herbs. Cook for 7-8 minutes.
- Add wine, deglaze the pot, cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and red chili flakes. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pot, along with olives. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 45 minutes to an hour, or until chicken is fall off the bone tender. (Alternately, you can bake the Cacciatore, covered, for 1 hour at 375°F)
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve and enjoy.
- If lacking fresh herbs, substitute 1 teaspoon of dried for every 1 tablespoon of fresh.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 391Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 137mgSodium 719mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 6gSugar 10gProtein 32g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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