Chicken cacciatore is a traditional Italian dish. Chicken, vegetables, and herbs are simmered together in a flavorful tomato sauce. The name, chicken cacciatore, translates to hunter-style chicken.
All about Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken cacciatore is an Italian-inspired chicken stew that features chicken cooked in a tomato-based sauce with onions, garlic, herbs, and wine. The chicken pieces are usually browned before being simmered in the sauce for a rich flavor. The vegetables add flavor and nutritional value to the dish.
This chicken cacciatore recipe is easy enough for weeknight cooking but also impressive enough for guests. And you can make it all in one pot. This chicken cacciatore is best served with a side of pasta or a bed of rice to soak up all the delicious sauce.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Chicken Cacciatore
- Whole chicken (bone in and skin on), cut up
- Celery stick
- White onion
- Garlic cloves
- Tomato puree (canned or fresh)
- Red wine
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
- Chili flakes
- Brown sugar
- Olive oil
- Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
- Finely dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Crush the garlic cloves. Set all the vegetables aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot or Dutch oven. Add the crushed garlic cloves and stir fry on medium heat for a couple of minutes until they are golden and fragrant.
- Add the chicken pieces with the skin down touching the pan. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until every piece is golden. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery to the same pot or Dutch oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat. Add a bit of the salt, thyme, rosemary, and chili flakes.
- When the vegetables are soft, add the chicken back to the pot.
- Add the tomato puree, red wine, and the remaining salt, thyme, rosemary, chili flakes, and brown sugar.
- Mix everything well. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour on low heat. Uncover for the last 15 minutes so some of the steam can evaporate and the sauce can thicken a bit.
- Serve garnished with fresh parsley.
Tips and Variations for Chicken Cacciatore
When making chicken cacciatore, there are several tips that can help you make the perfect dish.
- Make sure you don’t overcook or undercook the chicken. You should remove it from heat when it reaches 165 degrees F measured with a meat thermometer.
- To give your chicken more flavor and juiciness, marinate it with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs before cooking it. This helps keep the meat moist during cooking.
- Use different cuts of chicken if desired. Chicken thighs or chicken breasts will work, and you can also make the recipe with boneless and skinless cuts of chicken.
- Try substituting or adding different vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini.
- Try different wines in the recipe. Red wine adds complexity while white wine will make the sauce lighter.
- Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or polenta with roasted vegetables or a side salad.
Chicken Cacciatore FAQs
Is chicken cacciatore a healthy dish?
Yes, chicken cacciatore is a healthy dish because it’s made up of chicken, vegetables, herbs, and spices. The chicken is rich in protein, and the vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Remove the skin from the chicken to make the dish lower in fat.
What sides go best with chicken cacciatore?
Mashed potatoes, pasta, polenta, couscous, and steamed vegetables are all great side dishes to pair with chicken cacciatore. Rice also works well as a starchy complement to the dish. A green salad of arugula or spinach is also an excellent choice for adding some lightness to the meal. Roasted Brussels sprouts or roasted cauliflower are both delicious vegetable sides that will add flavor and texture. And garlic toast is always a welcome addition.
How do I store leftovers of chicken cacciatore?
You can store leftovers of chicken cacciatore in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Other Chicken Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Milanese
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs and Marinade
- Crockpot Pulled Chicken
- Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Breasts
Chicken cacciatore is a classic Italian dish with simple ingredients but rich flavors. It’s made with chicken, vegetables, herbs, spices, and wine. Serve chicken cacciatore with sides such as mashed potatoes or polenta and roasted vegetables for a complete meal.
An Italian classic you are going to love. Tender fall-apart chicken with a tomato sauce bursting with flavor.
- 1 whole chicken cut up (skin and bones in)
- 2 carrots
- 1 celery stick
- 1 white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups tomato puree (canned or fresh)
- 1 glass red wine
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Start by dicing finely the onion, the carrots and the celery. Crush the garlic cloves and set all the vegetables aside.
- In the pot or dutch oven add the olive oil and the crushed garlic cloves and fry them on medium heat for a couple of minutes (until golden and fragrant)
- Add the chicken pieces (preferably with the skin touching the pan) fry them for 5-7 minutes until every piece looks golden. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pot or dutch oven add the diced vegetables and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Add a bit of the salt and herbs.
- Once the vegetables are soft add the chicken back to the pot.
- Add the tomato puree, the wine glass and the rest of herbs and salt.
- Mix everything well and let cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour on low heat covered. Uncover the last 15 minutes so some steam can evaporate and the sauce can get a bit thicker.
- Serve garnished with some fresh parsley.
Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a week in a sealed container.
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