Chicken Cacciatore

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This is the quickest and easiest Chicken Cacciatore recipe around! Full of all of the flavor you love, cooked in one pot and on your table in less than an hour. Your house will be filled with the aroma of dry white wine, garlic, onions, and fresh herbs – and your family will be eagerly waiting at the table for dinner!

Chicken pieces topped with fresh herbs and black olives in a large pot ready to be served.


 

Italian cuisine has a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s the burst of flavor from fresh herbs, or perhaps it’s the comforting aroma of wine wafting through the kitchen. Okay, let’s be real—it’s definitely the pasta! Who could resist?

But hold up, Italian cooking isn’t all about pasta. Let me introduce you to chicken cacciatore—a rich and hearty tomato-based chicken stew that’s a true flavor powerhouse. Packed with veggies, dry wine, and an abundance of fresh herbs, every spoonful is like a taste of Italy itself!

Now, here’s the best part: this chicken cacciatore recipe is quick, easy, and doesn’t skimp on flavor. And guess what? You can serve it over your favorite pasta for the ultimate Italian comfort food experience!

What is Chicken Cacciatore?

Chicken cacciatore is a traditional Italian dish often known as “Hunter’s Stew.” My recipe includes tomato paste, but that isn’t a must. The original versions of this recipe were more of a brown, meat-based sauce. Classic cacciatore was also typically cooked for a very long time so that the chicken would fall off of the bone. This makes it a great recipe for slow cooking or crock pots. The flavor is best described as rich and deep, with lots of aromatics added by the onions, garlic, wine, and fresh herbs.

Recipe Ingredients

This cacciatore recipe is packed with fresh veggies and classic Italian flavors. Here’s a grocery list of what you’ll need to make it.

  • Olive oil – You can use any other cooking oil, too.
  • Bone-in chicken thighs and chicken legs – Chicken breasts would also work, or a combination of chicken pieces. Just note that boneless chicken cooks faster than bone-in.
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper – To season the chicken and vegetables, enhancing their flavors.
  • Vegetables – yellow onion, large carrot, sliced mushroom, bell peppers, and garlic.
  • Tomato paste – It will help to thicken the sauce and add richness and depth of flavor.
  • Dry white wine – Adds acidity and flavor to the sauce. Substitute with chicken broth.
  • Canned diced tomatoes – The tomatoes add acidity and sweetness to the dish.
  • Tomato sauce – Provides extra tomato flavor and adds more depth to the sauce.
  • Sugar – To balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Dried oregano and dried basil – They contribute an herbal flavor to the sauce.
  • Black olives (optional) – I love to add olives to the dish for their briny flavor and texture.
  • Fresh chopped parsley – For color to garnish the dish.

How to Make Chicken Cacciatore

Let’s get cooking! Follow along to make my version of this simple and delicious recipe for chicken cacciatore!

  1. Prep. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, heavy-bottomed skillet, or Dutch oven. Season the chicken pieces on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear the chicken. Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Saute. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Stir in the onions, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and garlic. Cook the veggies for 4 minutes or until just tender. Stir in the tomato paste. Continue to stir until everything is combined.
  4. Add the wine. Stir in the wine, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the wine is reduced.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and seasoning. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar. Season with oregano and basil. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
  6. Cook. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet. Lower the heat to a simmer – about medium-low – cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and add in the olives. Cover and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve: Remove pot from the heat. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Chicken Cacciatore in a pot with veggies, olive, and fresh herbs.

Recipe Tips

  • Chicken options. I prefer to use bone-in chicken thighs and chicken legs to make chicken cacciatore. Keeping the bone in adds fat and a really nice richness to the sauce. You can opt to use skin on or skinless, whichever you prefer. You can also use any other chicken pieces as long as they are bone-in.
  • Add heat. If you like your food with a bit of a kick, you can add in a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. I don’t do this when I’m making it for my kids but it does add a nice touch.
  • Sauce ingredients. If you don’t have a can of tomato paste, you can go ahead without it. This will change the flavor and texture of the sauce a bit, but it will still have rich, deep flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken cacciatore is basically a one-pot meal that has everything you could need: big flavor, protein, and loads of veggies. I serve my cacciatore over pasta, rice, or egg noodles. Zucchini noodles, too. I really like serving roasted parmesan crusted potatoes on the side or a nice cauliflower mash. Both soak up that yummy sauce and add to the flavor.

And don’t forget a big loaf of hearty, focaccia bread. This sauce is so good that if you don’t have bread to sop it up, you might be tempted to lick your plate. You could also simply serve your chicken cacciatore with a large family style salad.

White ceramic pot with cooked chicken in tomato sauce.

How to Store Leftovers

I think this meal tastes better the day after. The flavors just get better and better the longer they mesh together. To store leftover chicken cacciatore, let it cool completely, and then place your chicken pieces in an airtight container. Top the chicken pieces with that yummy sauce and veggies, and place the container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about three days.

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4.73 from 11 votes

Chicken Cacciatore

This is the quickest and easiest Chicken Cacciatore recipe around! Full of all of the flavor you love, cooked in one pot, and on your table in less than an hour.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil,, divided
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken legs
  • salt and fresh ground pepper,, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion,, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot,, thinly sliced into coins
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small green bell pepper,, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper,, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 10 large black olives,, pitted, optional
  • fresh chopped parsley,, for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until just browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Add remaining olive oil to the skillet.
  • Stir in onions, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and garlic; cook for 4 minutes, or until veggies are just tender.
  • Stir in tomato paste; stir until combined.
  • Add wine; stir around, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Cook until wine is reduced; about 2 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar; stir to combine.
  • Season with oregano and basil. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
  • Return chicken pieces to the skillet; lower heat to a simmer – about medium-low – cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove cover; add in olives; cover and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 1254mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3285IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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24 Comments

  1. Sandra says:

    I love it! So easy to make and really tasty!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I am very happy you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Allyson Zea says:

    I love making these on busy week nights! Thank you for the easy recipe!

  3. Catalina says:

    I have some chicken in my fridge right now and this recipe would be perfect!

  4. Cathy says:

    Love all the fresh veggies in this recipe!