Easy Chicken Cacciatore

This easy chicken cacciatore recipe is a classic Italian dish originating in the northern region of Piedmont. Serve with pasta or polenta, or stuff it between toasted Focaccia for a Roman-style Trappizzino sandwich!

Photo of chicken cacciatore in a Le Creuset braiser.

What is Chicken Cacciatore?

The earliest known written recipe for chicken cacciatore dates back to the 16th century. Back then, cacciatore was made with wild game such as rabbit or pheasant. However, as chicken became more widely available, chicken thighs became the most popular meat used in the dish. However, you can certainly make this recipe with chicken breasts or even turkey thighs!

The word cacciatore means hunter in Italian. The dish was created by hunters who would cook their game in a tomato sauce with mushrooms and herbs.

My one pot chicken cacciatore recipe is made with chicken thighs. I braise them in my Le Creuset Braiser with San Marzano tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions, garlic-shallot puree and oregano. I like to use skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs for added flavor, and prefer to make my chicken cacciatore with white wine. However, you can also make chicken cacciatore with red wine.

The chicken is tender and flavorful, and the sauce is rich and hearty.

Photo of four chicken thighs being sautéed in olive oil

Chicken Cacciatore Ingredients

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, breasts or turkey thighs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian oregano
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound sliced baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-shallot puree (or 2-3 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 15 oz. San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • Salt, pepper to your taste
Photo of onions and bell peppers in a saute pan for one pot chicken cacciatore

How to Make Italian Hunter’s Chicken

  • Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Le Creuset braiser, or your favorite sauce pan, over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken thighs, skin side down. When crispy, flip over and brown the other side, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken to a paper towel lined dish or platter.
  • Reduce heat on the braiser to medium and add the onion, bell pepper and oregano. Stir until the vegetables soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic-shallot puree and cook down until the mushrooms are soft. Next, add the wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid reduces about halfway.
  • Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Return the chicken thighs to the braiser and simmer 20 minutes, or until chicken cooks through. Add salt and pepper to your taste (I like to add a little balsamic vinegar!), and serve over pasta or polenta with crusty Italian bread.
Photo of sautéed mushrooms, onions and bell pepper

Tips for the Best Chicken Cacciatore

  • For a richer flavor, use chicken stock instead of white wine. You can also use red wine.
  • If you don’t have mushrooms, you can substitute another type of vegetable, such as bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini. You can even make chicken cacciatore with olives or capers for an added zing!
  • You can make a grilled chicken cacciatore by seasoning your chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilling it until cooked. Prepare the sauce separately in a pot, and then top the grilled chicken with the cacciatore sauce.
Photo of chicken cacciatore in a Le Creuset braiser.

Ideas for Leftovers

This is a delicious and versatile dish. Here are a few ideas for what you can make with chicken cacciatore leftovers:

Roman trappizzino sandwich: Shred the chicken and stuff it and the sauce between toasted Focaccia bread for a Roman-style Trappizzino sandwich.

Chicken cacciatore melt: Shred the chicken and place into a French roll. Top with the tomato-onion-pepper sauce and mozzarella cheese. Next, bake until hot and bubbly.

Chicken cacciatore soup: Shred the leftover chicken and add it to a pot of chicken broth with some vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and onions. You can also add some of the leftover sauce to the soup for extra flavor.

Chicken cacciatore quesadillas: Spread some of the leftover sauce on a tortilla, then top with shredded chicken and mozzarella cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and cook in a pan until the cheese melts and the tortilla is golden brown.

These are just a few ideas, and there are many other ways to use up leftover chicken cacciatore. Get creative and have fun!

Photo of chicken cacciatore in a Le Creuset braiser.

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Photo of chicken cacciatore in a Le Creuset braiser.

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe by Jason Hill – CookingSessions.com
This easy chicken cacciatore recipe is a classic Italian dish originating in the northern region of Piedmont. Serve with pasta, polenta, or stuff it between toasted Focaccia for a Roman-style Trappizzino sandwich.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian oregano
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 pound baby Bella mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-shallot puree (or 2-3 garlic cloves) minced
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay wine or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 15 oz. San Marzano tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Le Creuset braiser, or your favorite sauce pan, over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken thighs, skin side down. When crispy, flip over and brown the other side, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken to a paper towel lined dish or platter.
  • Reduce heat on the braiser to medium and add the onion, bell pepper and oregano. Stir until the vegetables soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic-shallot puree and cook down until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Next, add the wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid is reduced about halfway.
  • Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Return the chicken thighs to the braiser and simmer 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Serve over pasta or polenta with crusty Italian bread.
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Keyword bell peppers, chicken, chicken thighs, onions, tomatoes
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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