Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore is Italian comfort food! Tender chicken thighs simmering in tomato sauce and mushrooms smells just like Grandma’s house!

Italian classics remind me of growing up and going for Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house. There would always be a big pot of Grandma’s Sunday Meatballs & Sauce, along with a mouth watering, tender Pot Roast cooking in the oven. It was typically a 3-4 main course meal. That’s Italian.

Chicken Cacciatore in a bowl with pasta

Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian, so in Italian cuisine cacciatora refers to braised meats like chicken or rabbit simmered with tomatoes, peppers, onions and wine. Open up a bottle that you’re going to have with dinner and take a little out for this chicken dinner, you can drink the rest!

These chicken thighs in this recipe are so tender they meat practically falls off the bone. And let me tell you, your house is going to smell amazing while the chicken is simmering away on your stove top, you’ll hardly be able to wait for dinner!

How To Make Chicken Cacciatore

Start by browning chicken thighs in a skillet with olive oil. This step is crucial to getting the best flavor from this Chicken Cacciatore recipe. So make sure that your chicken thighs look nice and golden brown like ours do here before moving on to the next step.

Chicken thighs browning in skillet

After the chicken has browned, move them to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Now we’re going to start the sauce by cooking onions, peppers and mushrooms in the same skillet until softened.

Once the vegetables have softened, stir in tomato paste and cook for a minute, letting the paste brown on the bottom of the skillet. Carefully pour in the wine and deglaze the pan. Scrape all those brown bits off the bottom of the skillet because they’re going to flavor the sauce in the most delicious way.

Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, seasonings and stir. Place the chicken thighs back into the skillet and nestle them down into the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the thighs, cover and bring to a simmer.

Chicken thigh recipe in tomato sauce with peppers and mushrooms

Simmer the chicken for 25 minutes covered, then uncover and give it a stir to make sure that the chicken isn’t sticking to the bottom of the skillet. If they sauce is getting too thick you can add a splash or wine or chicken broth to loosen it back up.

Partially cover the skillet, letting some steam escape, and simmer another 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Chicken Cacciatore recipe in a skillet

How To Serve Chicken Cacciatore

Try serving this chicken cacciatore with your pasta of choice! There’s plenty of sauce to toss with pasta and serve on the side or under the chicken. A few more options for serving are:

Tender chicken thighs in a bowl with tomato sauce and pasta

Can You Make This Chicken Recipe Ahead Of Time?

100% YES. Chicken Cacciatore is one of those recipes that gets even better if you make it in the morning or even the day before. Just reheat the chicken gently on the stove top or in a low oven until warmed through and get your side dish of choice ready!

Leftovers of this chicken are fantastic for a quick dinner or lunch. Leftover chicken cacciatore will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Chicken Cacciatore served over pasta in a white bowl

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Chicken Cacciatore in a bowl with pasta

Chicken Cacciatore

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Chicken Cacciatore is the ultimate Italian comfort food dinner! A rustic chicken thigh recipe with bell peppers and mushrooms that can be served over pasta or mashed potatoes!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt, black pepper and paprika for seasoning the chicken thighs
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 medium bell peppers, cored and cut into strips
  • 10 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a large 12-13 inch skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and paprika, just enough to coat the skin. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs skin side down into the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Turn over and cook another 4-5 minutes on the other side. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil.
  2. Add the onion, peppers and mushrooms to the same skillet. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and the mushrooms brown slightly. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Stir the tomato paste into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute, letting the tomato paste brown. Pour in the wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping up the bottom of the pan. Stir in the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes and oregano. Add the chicken thighs back to the skillet and nestle down into the sauce, spooning some of the sauce over the tops of the thighs.
  4. Cover the skillet and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir the chicken and sauce slightly to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and cook another 15 minutes with the lid partially covered. If the sauce is getting too thick, keep the lid on fully and/or add a splash of wine or chicken stock to thin it out. If your sauce is looking loose at this point, leave the lid off and let simmer uncovered for the last 15 minutes to let the sauce reduce.
  5. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through by cutting into a thick part of the thigh. If the juices run clear and no pink remains, remove the skillet from the heat and serve with pasta or potatoes on the side.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: chicken recipes, chicken cacciatore, italian recipes, chicken thigh recipes, comfort food, braised chicken, recipes with chicken thighs

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