Homemade Chicken Cacciatore is an Italian classic! Succulent chicken in a flavorful tomato sauce – Comfort food at it’s finest!
Serve on a bed of pasta or with a side of roasted potatoes for a delicious homecooked meal.
Growing up with an Italian grandmother, this is one of those dishes I’ve been making for most of my life. This flavorful, rich, braised chicken is a family favorite in my house and I hope it will be in yours too.
Why This Recipe Works
- Using fresh aromatics such as garlic and onions adds flavor that can’t be found in a spice jar.
- Slow braising the chicken gives the sauce a delicious richness and makes the chicken fall off the bone tender.
- Mushrooms add an earthy profile that elevates the dish.
- Red Peppers add a sweetness you don’t find in green bell peppers.
What Chicken Is Best
For braising chicken, it’s always best to use chicken on the bone. Chicken thighs or legs work best as they don’t dry out as much as breasts.
How To Use Chicken Breasts In Chicken Cacciatore
If breasts are your preference I recommend brining the breasts (on the bone) for at least an hour first. This will stop them from drying out during cooking.
To brine, place the breasts in a large bowl with two quarts of cold water mixed with 1/3 cup kosher or sea salt (not table salt). Cover and put in the refrigerator for 1-8 hours. Just be sure to dry the chicken well and allow to come to room temperature before cooking.
How To Make Chicken Cacciatore
Heat olive oil in a large, shallow pan over high heat.
Season the chicken with salt and brown on both sides, working in batches if needed. Transfer onto a plate and set aside.
Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the peppers, and cook until slightly softened about 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft.
Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and return the chicken to the pan. Taste for seasoning. Add the red pepper flakes, parsley, bay leaves, and olives. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
How To Make slow cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Follow the recipe through step 8 then transfer to a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours, until chicken is cooked through.
Yes, the flavors are even better the next day! Just store in an airtight container for up to 2 days and reheat on the stove when ready.
You don’t want to risk overcooking. Just warm until heated through.
Yes, just store in a freezer-safe, airtight container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
What To Serve With Chicken Cacciatore
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- 8 chicken thighs on bone
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions chopped
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 2 red peppers cut into slices
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 56 oz canned whole tomatoes (two 28oz cans), crushed or pureed
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup olives I use kalamata olives
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, shallow pan over high heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and brown on both sides, working in batches if needed. Remove to a plate and discard most of the excess fat.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onions sweat over low heat, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the peppers, and cook until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft.
- Add the white wine and reduce by half.
- Add the tomatoes and return the chicken to the pan. Taste for seasoning. Add the red pepper flakes, parsley, bay leaves, and olives. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Check the sauce periodically and if it reduces below the chicken, replenish with water as needed.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a serving platter. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add salt if needed. Discard the bay leaves.
- If the sauce looks greasy, skim the surface before serving. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.