Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Jacqueline Rafidi
A simple and rustic meal of chicken cacciatore always hits the spot in the cooler months. It’s easy to put together, simmers away for about an hour and makes your house smell AMAZING.
This dish is my version of the classic Italian comfort food. Any chicken cacciatore I’ve seen always has bell peppers and mushrooms. I’ve seen some serve this meal with a crusty baguette, with polenta and both of these sound delish, but I always opt for the pasta. My kids love bread and polenta but there’s something about twirling some spaghetti and digging my fork into a tender piece of chicken, mushroom, and bell pepper.
Making this chicken cacciatore
‘Cacciatore’ or “hunter” in Italian is used in the title of this dish to emphasize the rusticness of the dish. It’s a rich stew that simmers for an hour and yields SUPER tender and falling apart chicken. Thighs tend to work best here and truthfully, I would not make this meal with chicken breast. Thighs are a fattier cut of meat (I do take all the excess fat off the thighs before cooking but the meat itself is also fattier) which adds flavor to the stew and gives the meat a better texture once its cooked.
Start by seasoning the chicken simply with salt and pepper. Cook it up in batches until golden brown on each side. Remove to a plate, then add in your bell peppers and onions. This is another layer of flavor that adds a lot to the cacciatore.
When the onions and peppers have cooked down a bit, add in the mushrooms and garlic. Once halfway cooked through, add in your seasonings. Then add the red wine. Cook this down before adding in all your tomato products like the paste and plum tomatoes.
Add the chicken back to the pot, cook covered for an hour, then serve with pasta, polenta or bread. Or all the above. I won’t judge. We love carbs around here! We’re Arab so bread is basically our utensil of choice.
Anyways I hope you make this and LOVE IT like we do. Tomorrow, I plan to share how I revamp the leftovers so stay tuned for that! It’s gonna be a good one. And tomorrow’s recipe is really the main reason I shared this chicken cacciatore recipe to begin with!
More cozy meals for the cooler months
When you make this chicken cacciatore, comment down below and rate this recipe to let me know your thoughts! Also share a picture or tag me on Instagram @thebitewithjackie, I love seeing your remakes!
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs fat trimmed
- Olive oil for cooking
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large yellow onion sliced thinly in half moons
- 2 red bell peppers orange works too – sliced and cut slices in half
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms sliced
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup red wine any dry red wine will do – don’t use sweet
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste OR ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1 – 28oz can whole plum or San Marzano tomatoes crush by hand or with kitchen shears
- Crusty bread
- In a wide and deep skillet with a fitting lid, heat the olive oil to medium high. Season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Cook them in batches 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- If needed, add another 1-2 Tablespoons more oil, then add in the onions and bell peppers and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Then add in the mushrooms, garlic and another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook down another 5-7 minutes till reduced in size by about half. Add in the Italian seasoning and oregano before adding in all the red wine and letting this cook down for another
- 5-7 minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste or sauce, then the can of tomatoes. Stir everything together well, then tuck all the chicken back into the sauce. Let this cook partially covered for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is tender and falls apart easily.
- Serve with pasta, crusty bread or polenta, a nice grating of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano and some freshly torn basil. Enjoy!