Hearty and satisfying, Chicken Cacciatore is a rustic Italian classic. Serve on its own with crusty sourdough, creamy polenta, rice or pasta. An easy comforting dish the whole family with enjoy! Gluten-Free.Video.
This recipe for Chicken Cacciatore is very simple to make with huge flavor rewards! Chicken is cooked until tender in a rich tomato sauce with red wine, mushrooms, olives, capers and rosemary. So savory and wholesome. The best part? This Chicken Cacciatore recipe comes together in about an hour, with only 30-minutes of hands-on time- a delicious, Italian Comfort food meal, that is easy enough for weeknights.
What is Chicken Cacciatore?
Chicken Cacciatore is a rustic Italian chicken dish made with mushrooms and bell peppers simmered in rich and robust tomato sauce, enhanced with wine, capers and herbs.
Cacciatore means hunter in Italian. This was a stew often cooked over an open fire with whatever the hunter caught, such as rabbit, game birds, or pheasant. All parts of the animal would be used. Often a long cook time to tenderize the wild meat. This is another classic Italian dish that has a lot of variations.
Why this recipe works
I love that this recipe for Chicken Cacciatore is incredibly flexible. Use chicken thighs, chicken breast, or even the whole bird. Leaving the skin on can create a more tender moist meat, but really it is quite delicious with skinless chicken breast as well. If going for the whole bird you will want to wait to add the breasts near the end to avoid overcooking and drying out.
The meat is seared in olive oil. You can dredge in flour to help crisp up the meat, we skip this step, opting for gluten-free friendly and we didn’t miss a thing. But feel free to do it your own way!
Chicken Cacciatore Video
Ingredients in Chicken Cacciatore
- Chicken: bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (or deboned also can use breasts, legs and wings)
- Vegetables: yellow onion, garlic, mushrooms, and bell pepper
- Tomatoes: crushed tomatoes and tomato paste
- Fresh Herbs: rosemary, parsley and basil
- Spices: red pepper flakes, dried oregano
- Wine: red (or can use white)
- Olives and Capers: green and kalamata (or any pitted olives of your choice) and small capers
- Salt and Pepper
Ways to Adapt
This is a very forgiving and adaptable recipe. Make it your way!
- Wine: Use white wine instead of red or skip the wine and use 2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar.
- Mushrooms: Add dried porcini mushrooms, or any variety of fresh forest mushrooms- chanterelles, morels, oysters to name a few.
- Olives: Green, black, any combo of your favorite variety.
- Vegetables: Add celery, carrots or zucchini.
- Herbs: Use fresh thyme or sage in place of rosemary.
Can this be made vegan?
Sure! The sauce is so good that you could leave the chicken out, double up on the mushrooms and serve over roasted or grilled eggplant.
How to make Chicken Cacciatore
Pat the chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper.
With a high heat oil, sear chicken on high heat for 3 minutes on each side, until a golden crust forms. Set chicken aside.
If using chicken with the skin on, it will produce more oil, you can drain oil from the pan, if needed, leave about a tablespoon or two in the pan.
In the same pan, sauté onions, mushrooms in olive oil (or use leftover chicken oil) for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, bell pepper and red pepper flakes, saute for 1 minute more.
Place seared chicken in the sauce. Simmer 15 minutes, uncovered.
Test the internal temperature of the chicken, we are going for 165F. Simmer longer if needed. Bone-in thighs may take up to 35 minutes. The chicken breast will cook faster, 15-20 minutes.
Use a splatter screen while simmering as the sauce will sputter a bit.
Stir in fresh parsley and scatter fresh basil leaves over the top.
Serve over pasta, polenta or just enjoy with a crusty loaf of bread!
What to serve with Chicken Cacciatore:
- Instant Pot Polenta | Pressure Cooker Polenta
- How to Make Cauliflower Rice!
- No-Knead Sourdough Bread
- Little Gem Salad with Dilly Ranch Dressing
- Classic Caesar Salad
More recipes you may enjoy
- Gorgonzola Chicken with Mushrooms & Sage
- Chicken Marsala
- Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Shallots
- Chicken Katsu (or Tofu Katsu!)
- Chicken Mole
- One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Caprese
- Braised Chicken with Fresh Figs
Hearty and satisfying, Chicken Cacciatore is a rustic Italian classic. Serve on its own with crusty sourdough, pair with creamy polenta or over your favorite pasta. An easy comforting, meal the whole family with enjoy!
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (or 4 large chicken breasts, or whole chicken parts: legs, wings, breast, and thighs, feel free to use skinless.)
- 1 yellow onion, sliced in half-moon slices with the grain
- 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
- 6 cloves garlic (about 1/2 of a medium garlic head), coarsely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, cut in approximate 2-inch strips
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 cup mixed pitted green olives and kalamata (swap out with your favorite kinds
- 1 teaspoon capers, unrinsed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- a few fresh basil leaves
- Pat the chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper. With a tablespoon of olive oil sear chicken on medium high heat 3 minutes each side, until a gold crust forms. Set chicken aside. (If using chicken with the skin on, it will produce more oil, you can drain oil from pan, if needed, leave about a tablespoon or two in the pan.)
- In the same pan, sauté onions, mushrooms in olive oil (or use left over chicken oil) for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, bell pepper and red pepper flakes, saute for 1 minute more.
- Lower the heat and add wine, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, rosemary, olives, capers, salt and pepper. Stir to fully combine.
- Place seared chicken in the sauce. Simmer 25 minutes. Leave uncovered, though splatter screen is nice as it will sputter a bit. Test the internal temperature of the chicken, we are going for 165F. Simmer longer if needed. Bone-in thighs may take up to 35 minutes. Chicken breast will cook faster, 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in fresh parsley and scatter fresh basil leaves over the top. Serve over pasta, creamy polenta or just enjoy with a crusty loaf of bread!
Leftovers keep well in the fridge for 3 days.
Use chicken thighs, breast, or even the whole bird. Leaving the skin on can create a more tender moist meat, but really it is quite delicious with skinless chicken breast as well. If going for the whole bird you will want to wait to add the breasts near the end to avoid overcooking and drying out.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 472
- Sugar: 9.7 g
- Sodium: 697.6 mg
- Fat: 26.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.4 g
- Fiber: 4.6 g
- Protein: 41.6 g
- Cholesterol: 167.9 mg
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