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Who doesn’t love Chicken Cacciatore?! It’s delicious slow cooked flavor in an Italian Stew with chicken thighs, peppers, mushrooms with a flavorful sauce. Served over pasta and topped with parmesan cheese and parsley. It’s so so tasty! Delicious served with Garlic Bread and Salad.
Chicken Cacciatore | An Italian Stew
I never grew up eating Chicken Cacciatore. Having Hungarian and German family history, we ate a lot of Goulash and Chicken Paprikash. Both are delicious stews in their own right, but when I first tried Chicken Cacciatore, I was smitten. It was so flavorful and comforting! Extremely tender chicken and veggies that have been cooked down into this amazing and flavorful stew.
But First, What is Chicken Cacciatore?
The word ‘cacciatore’ literally translates to hunter in Italian. In cooking, alla cacciatora refers to the way the meal is prepared: “hunter-style”. This means it is made like a stew with onions, herbs, tomatoes, bell peppers, and sometimes wine. Traditionally it is made with chicken or rabbit.
Main Ingredients Needed
I know this ingredients list may look intimidating but don’t worry, every ingredient has its purpose and perfectly comes together to create this hearty Chicken Cacciatore. Here’s what you need:
- Chicken Thighs – you could use chicken breasts here but I find that chicken thighs come out way more tender and flavorful. I use boneless, skinless thighs, but you can definitely use bone-in thighs. Just make sure you remove the skin before you use them.
- Salt + Pepper – always important to season in order to bring out the most flavor.
- Olive Oil – this is used to cook our chicken and to saute some vegetables.
- Onion + Garlic – the basic building blocks of flavor for any italian dish.
- Carrot– grated carrot adds a sweetness and cooks way down so it adds nice flavor while going mostly undetected.
- Green Bell Pepper + Red Bell Pepper – two types of bell peppers for color and slightly different flavors.
- Baby Bella Mushrooms + Criminis – feel free to use all baby bella mushrooms or omit completely if mushrooms aren’t your jam. If you have mushroom haters in your family, you can always halve the amount listed and chop them small so they go undetected.
- Tomato Paste– this adds intense tomato flavor.
- Crushed Tomatoes – I like crushed tomatoes over diced tomatoes because it’s a little more like a sauce versus tomato chunks. If you don’t have crushed tomatoes, blend diced tomatoes for similar results.
- Chicken Broth – use good quality chicken broth for best results!
- Soy Sauce – Adds depth of flavor and salt without it tasting obviously salty.
- Sugar – to balance out all of the savory and to cut some of the acidity from the tomatoes.
- Italian Seasoning, Basil + Oregano – lots of herbs here to take this dish to the next level.
- Butter – I finish off this stew recipe with butter for a silky smooth texture.
Should I add Wine?
This is personal preference. Lots of recipes call for the addition of red or white wine into their chicken cacciatore recipes. While I didn’t use any in my recipe, you are welcome to add some in (1-2 cups) with the garlic and tomato paste, reduce it down by at least half, and then add in the remaining ingredients. This is step 2 in the recipe card.
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
For full details in how to make Chicken Cacciatore, see the recipe card down below 🙂
Brown Chicken Thighs + Add Veggies
Blot chicken thighs with a paper towel to dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown chicken thighs on both sides and remove from pot.
Saute onion, peppers, and mushrooms with a little extra salt and pepper until mostly tender, 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute until fragrant.
Add Tomatoes and Seasonings
Stir in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil, and oregano. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce to simmer. Add chicken thighs back into the pot.
Simmer + Serve
Simmer gently for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour (but expect the chicken to fall apart as it cooks…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.) As it cooks, stir occasionally, adding in chicken broth if the sauce gets too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. Melt a little butter in to the Chicken Cacciatore to finish the sauce and serve with pasta, parmesan cheese and parsley.
How to Serve Chicken Cacciatore
I like to serve my chicken cacciatore with pasta and I think it is traditionally served with pasta, but you can definitely also serve it with:
- extra wide egg noodles
- mashed potatoes
- polenta (yum!)
- crusty bread
If you’re feeling particularly decadent, melt some butter and parmesan cheese onto your pasta before topping with chicken cacciatore. So good! And of course top it all off with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley!
What to Serve with Chicken Cacciatore
If you loved this chicken cacciatore you’re going to love these other similar recipes! Give them a try soon 🙂
The printable recipe card is below, enjoy!
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs about 6
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled and grated
- 1 whole green bell pepper diced
- 1 whole red bell pepper diced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms chopped
- 4 oz criminis chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pasta, parmesan cheese, parsley optional for serving
- Blot chicken thighs with paper towel to dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown chicken thighs on both sides and remove from pot.
- Saute onion, carrot, peppers and mushrooms with a little extra salt and pepper until mostly tender, 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce to simmer. Add chicken thighs back into the pot. Simmer gently for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour (but expect the chicken to fall apart as it cooks…which isn't necessarily a bad thing.) As it cooks, stir occasionally, adding in chicken broth if sauce gets too thick.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Melt in butter to finish sauce and serve with pasta and parmesan cheese. Top with chopped parsley.
This was really simple to make and very tasty! Made plenty with lots of leftovers. My 2 year old loved slurping up the saucy spaghetti 😆
So…I am kinda clueless and I don’t want to mess this up, but how would you do this in a crockpot?
I’m no Lauren, but I would brown the chicken, veggies, garlic and tomato paste, then dump everything in the crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours. Finally, add the butter. How does that sound, Lauren?