With a robustly flavored homemade tomato sauce, Chicken Cacciatore is unbelievably flavorful, tender, and saucy, I use simple braising techniques and spices to bring you one of my all-time favorite Italian dinner recipes!
Cacciatore means hunter in Italian, and is sometimes called Hunter’s Stew because it is made with chicken (or rabbit), onions, tomatoes, herbs, vegetables, and usually wine or vinegar. We love classic Italian meals like Sausage Stuffed Shells with Spinach, Chicken Marsala, Mushroom Risotto, and Bruschetta Chicken Pasta. This one doesn’t have a required pasta, but it is the epitome of flavorful comfort food!
Braised in a rich, rustic tomato sauce, the chicken soaks up all that flavor and falls off the bone. It is the most succulent chicken comfort food on the planet. And what I like about this particular recipe is that everything is made in one pot.
For me, the lightly breaded chicken makes all the difference. Its so hard not to devour the chicken after browning. It doesn’t have any complexity really, but the robust combination of the white wine and capers raises the bar on Italian meals. I love this recipe!
Chicken Cacciatore Ingredients and Notes
Classic and simple ingredients and each component is noticeable in this dish. To be more specific, you’ll need:
Canned Tomatoes – I use whole tomatoes that I can from my garden. I recommend whole tomatoes, but I squish them and remove seeds before putting in the sauce. Marzano or Roma tomatoes are good varieties.
Chicken Broth – Lower Sodium or regular chicken broth.
Chicken Pieces – You can use either thighs or breasts with skin on and bone-in, but breasts take about 10 minutes longer to cook. Trim any excess fat before flouring.
White wine – If you have a dry table wine on hand, like a chardonnay or Pino Grigio, use that. A good quality cooking wine will also work.
Flour – Use All-purpose flour.
Capers – a salty herb, you can usually find this in the aisle with olives and pickles.
How To Stew Chicken
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper over each chicken piece (not in the flour). Dredge through the flour to coat.
- In a large, deep skillet or dutch oven, we start by browning the chicken pieces. The skin will thicken and crisp up. Work in two batches if necessary. Transfer the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels while we make the sauce.
- In the same pan, cook the onion, peppers, garlic, and oregano until the onions are translucent.
- Add the wine and simmer for a few minutes to release the alcohol. Add the tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, and capers. Bring to a simmer.
5. Sink the chicken pieces into the sauce, although don’t expect the sauce to completely cover. In fact, it’s almost better if it doesn’t because the skin will keep some of it crispness.
6. If a thicker sauce is desired, boil the sauce about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
Recommended Tools For this Recipe
- The Deep Pan – My best friend for sautéing because it is nonstick, DEEP, and has a great fitting lid.
- Capers (link for reference only, those are expensive)- you will find capers usually in the grocery section with canned olives and pickles. They are a salty Mediterranean dish staple, but you can also skip them if you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is easily adaptable to a slow cooker as well. Brown the chicken in a pan, about 5 minutes per side. In the crockpot, add the rest of the ingredients and nestle the chicken on top. Cook over low heat 4-6 hours.
While this recipe is pretty hearty on it’s own, I usually can add a simple side dish such as:
Steamed Green Beans
A simple Side Salad
Pasta such as spaghetti or orzo
A Crusty Bread
The flavors continue to meld overnight so it makes amazing leftovers! Or you can freeze it for up to three months in airtight containers for a ready-made-meal when you need it. You can freeze it with or without the chicken if you prefer.
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- 6 Bone-in Chicken Pieces with Skin – about 2 lbs thighs or breasts are fine
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Pepper
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour for dredging
- 2 ½ Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Red Bell Pepper rough chopped
- 1 Yellow Onion rough chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ cup Dry White Wine
- 28 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 3 Tbsp Capers
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper over each chicken piece. Dredge through the flour to coat.
- In a large, deep skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and fry until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Work in two batches if necessary. Transfer the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Reduce heat to medium. Reserve 1 tbsp of the oil liquid in the pan and throw away the rest. In the same pan, add the onion, peppers, garlic, and oregano. Sauté until tender and onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, and capers. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the chicken pieces back into the pan and sink them into the sauce. The sauce will not cover the chicken entirely. Continue simmering until the chicken is fully cooked, about 25-30 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. If a thicker sauce is desired, boil the sauce about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
- The Deep Pan – My best friend for sautéing because it is nonstick, DEEP, and has a great fitting lid. It is perfect for this recipe to hold all the chicken and sauce while simmering.
- Capers – you will find capers usually in the grocery section with canned olives and pickles. They are a salty Mediterranean dish staple, but you can also skip them if you want.