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Simply Delicious Chicken Cacciatore

December 1, 2020

Simply Delicious Chicken Cacciatore

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A gloomy fall day is the perfect day to make Simply Delicious Chicken Cacciatore. Actually any day is a good day to make this chicken! This is one of my favorite meals to prepare because it is hearty and flavorful. Cacciatore combines simple ingredients; onions, sweet peppers, tomatoes and wine, to create a wonderfully aromatic sauce for the chicken to simmer in. Just make some pasta, rice or polenta and a salad and you have an amazing meal.

Cacciatore

“Cacciatore” in Italian means ” hunter”. This rustic dish would have been prepared after a successful hunt. Originally it would have been made with small game, such as rabbit and it would have included onions, mushrooms and herbs. This would all have been combined to create a tasty stew. Tomatoes were added to the dish after their introduction in Italy during the 15th or 16th century. Some time later, wine was also added to develop the version that we are familiar with today. The addition of tomatoes is said to be a southern Italian influence. There are numerous variations of the dish depending on what was readily available in different regions of the country.

This simple Chicken cacciatore is cooked in a tomato and wine broth with peppers and onions.

Variations

There is no definitive formula or list of ingredients that makes a “Cacciatore”. Chicken is by and far the most popular meat used today. But you can use any fowl, rabbit, pork, etc. You can also change the herbs you use based on what you have on hand or what you like. I have seen versions of this dish that call for tarragon, thyme or oregano. In some forms of the dish you will also see the addition of olives. A couple of ingredients that have become staples in this stew are tomatoes and wine, which bring richness and depth to the dish. Depending on the region, you may find that red or white wine might be used. I think that you get the idea that there really is no right or wrong way to make a “cacciatore”. It all depends on what makes your taste buds sing!

I have to admit that I’ve developed this recipe for chicken cacciatore primarily for me. I created a combination that I love. The fact that my husband and my son like it too is just a bonus. I use sweet peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic in my version but I don’t use mushrooms because my family does not like them. That is the only concession I am willing to make.

Now for the wine

I have made “cacciatore” with red wine in the past. It really is delicious. This time I used a white wine and think I prefer it. Depending on how dark the red wine is, it may change the color of your sauce (it might make it purply), or it may over power the other ingredients. The white wine brought just enough depth of flavor and the tomatoes maintained their color. You can use any wine you have, but remember to use something that you enjoy drinking. Cooking with wine intensifies it’s flavor, so make sure you like it.

Lastly, I love this because I don’t have to really think about what to serve with it. Pasta, rice, polenta or a loaf of crusty bread make a great accompaniment. This dish just proves that a great dinner does not need to be complicated.

Making Chicken Cacciatore

  • Make sure to brown the chicken. This creates bits of chicken on the bottom of the pan, that add a lot of richness to the flavor of your dish.
  • Salt and Pepper your chicken generously before browning. I use all of the salt and pepper called for in the recipe at this stage and do not need to add any more while it’s cooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the chicken while browning. It will end up steaming rather than developing a nice crust.
  • You can coat the chicken in flour before browning if you like. The flour will help create a thicker sauce. I would recommend doing this if you are using canned tomatoes in juice rather than puree. I have found that I don’t need to do this when I am using the puree. The sauce thickens up quite nicely without it.
  • Stir the chicken every so often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan. I had that happen once and it actually burned and ruined the sauce. I know this sounds obvious. But sometimes we get distracted.
  • Make sure that you use a wine that you enjoy drinking. Cooking with wine will intensify the flavor and if you use a wine you don’t like you will just end up disappointed.
  • I let the stew rest for a few minutes while I get everything else ready. This resting time also helps to thicken the sauce a bit.

Other Chicken recipes that you will love:

Nonna’s Chicken Cutlets

Simple “Agrodolce” Sweet and Sour Chicken

Chicken Cacciatore

Simply Delicious Chicken Cacciatore

Rustic Italian Stew made with peppers, onions, tomatoes and wine.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 413 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4.5 lbs. chicken thighs 9-10 pieces
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Sweet Peppers Green, Red, or Yellow, cut into thick strips
  • 2 onions medium, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp basil dried
  • 1 cup white wine dry
  • 28 oz tomatoes, canned peeled and in puree

Instructions
 

  • Salt and Pepper the chicken thighs
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy sauce pan or a Dutch oven
  • Brown the chicken on both sides. About 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  • Sauté the garlic and onion in the same pan until the onion is just tender
  • Add the wine and stir, scarping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and basil. Stir well.
  • Add the chicken back in to the pan stirring to make sure the chicken is coated with the tomato mixture.
  • Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the peppers. Bring back to a boil and cover. Cook on low heat for another 20 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 5gCalories: 413kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 51gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 242mgSodium: 943mgPotassium: 1040mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1206IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chicken, Tomatoes, Peppers, wine
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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1 thought on “Simply Delicious Chicken Cacciatore”

  • I absolutely love this recipe! I‘ve always used red wine in the past but I’m loving the white too!! And the meat always falls right off the bone which leaves you wanting more with every bite. Sooooooo delicious!!

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