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 fill with the aroma of dry white wine, garlic, onions, and fresh herbs – and your family will be eagerly waiting at the table for dinner!
Easy Homemade Chicken Cacciatore
Italian food is kind of my Achilles heel. It might be all of the flavorful fresh herbs. Or the wine. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s the pasta! We all knew it was the pasta!
But, not all Italian dishes are pasta dishes. My chicken cacciatore is a rich and hearty tomato based chicken stew that’s full of veggies, dry wine, and fresh herbs – in other words, it packs a serious flavor punch!
This is a quick and easy chicken cacciatore recipe that does not skimp on the flavor. And, bonus – you can serve it over your favorite pasta! Happy dance time!
What is Chicken Cacciatore?
Chicken cacciatore is a traditional Italian dish. You may see it referred to in some places as “Hunter’s Stew”. You’ll find that 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. The flavor is best described as rich and deep with lots of aromatics added by the onions, garlic, wine, and fresh herbs.
Classic chicken cacciatore was also typically cooked for a very long time. So long, in fact, that the chicken would fall off of the bone. This makes it a great recipe for slow cooking or crock pots.
This recipe is packed with fresh veggies and Italian flavors.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- olive oil
- bone-in chicken thighs
- chicken legs
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- yellow onion
- sliced mushrooms
- green bell pepper
- yellow bell pepper
- tomato paste
- dry white wine
- diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- dried oregano and dried basil
- black olives
- fresh chopped parsley
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
- Heat: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, heavy bottomed skillet, or a dutch oven.
- Season: Season chicken pieces on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Add: Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they’re just browned. Remove them from the skillet and set them aside.
- Saute: Add remaining olive oil to the skillet. Stir in the onions, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and garlic. Cook the veggies for 4 minutes, or until they are just tender.
- Stir in: Stir in the tomato paste. Continue to stir until everything is combined.
- Add: Add wine and stir around, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- Cook: Cook everything until the wine is reduced.
- Add: Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine.
- Adjust Seasoning: Season with oregano and basil. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
- Continue Cooking: Return the chicken pieces to the skillet. Lower the heat to a simmer – about medium-low – cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add: Remove the cover. Add in the olives. Cover and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
- Serve: Remove pot from the heat. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Tips for the Best Cacciatore
Follow these simple tips for the quickest and easiest chicken cacciatore:
- I prefer to use bone-in chicken thighs and chicken legs. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chicken cacciatore is basically a one pot meal. It’s got everything you could ask for: big flavor, protein, and loads of veggies. The only thing missing is a starch. My go-to is to serve my chicken cacciatore over rice. It’s also great over pasta or egg noodles. If you’re looking for a lower carb option, you can serve it over zucchini noodles.
- The flavor of potatoes is great with chicken cacciatore. I really like serving herb roasted 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, crusty bread. This sauce is so good 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.
How to Store Leftovers
I kind of think this meal tastes better as leftovers. I swear the flavors just get better and better the longer they mesh together.
- To store your 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 3 days.
More Italian Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Breasts in Tomato Sauce
- Saucy Spinach and Cottage Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- One Dish Chicken Bake
Tools Used in this Recipe
- 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
- 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.