Classic chicken cacciatore is a warm and hearty chicken and tomato stew that’s cooked all in one pan. It's an Italian dish meaning chicken "hunter-style" because it was a dish commonly eaten by hunters (traditionally the dish was made with rabbit). These days, cacciatore is usually served with chicken, over pasta, or with some delicious crusty bread. Add a generous grating of fresh Parmesan before digging in.
Saucy and full of flavor, this dish is very simple to make and is also very adaptable. Don’t have crushed tomatoes? Use tomato sauce. Don’t have mushrooms and green peppers? Use celery, carrots, or red peppers instead. You can also make it spicy with the addition of a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the peppers and onions. Use what you have on hand and keep the basic outline of the dish. You can also make it with precooked, shredded, or rotisserie chicken for an easier version. Simply skip the step of searing chicken, and add a cup of the shredded chicken when the sauce has cooked.
Make this recipe ahead of time and freeze in portions to eat later. Simply reheat on the stovetop with a half cup of chicken broth (water also works).
- 1 whole fryer chicken (cut into pieces)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Parmesan cheese rind
- Serving Suggestion: pasta
- Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese
- Garnish: chopped parsley
- Garnish: drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Gather the ingredients.
Coat the chicken pieces with the flour and half of the salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 3 minutes per side, without moving them, or until golden brown. (You want to create a nice sear.) They do not need to be cooked through, as they will continue to cook in the sauce.
Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set them aside, leaving the oil behind in the pan. Add more oil if needed.
Add the onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic to the pan. Saute on medium-high heat until softened and golden.
Add the white wine and chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and stir as the liquid bubbles.
Add in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and the Parmesan rind to the pan. Add the rest of the salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken pieces back into the pan. Cover with a lid and cook on low for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 hours. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve over pasta and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley. Add another drizzle of balsamic vinegar, too.