Chicken cacciatore is a famous Italian dish that’s also popular here in the US, but this is the real deal, authentic Italian recipe. It’s a one pan or slow cooker chicken dinner recipe you’ll make over and over again.
Originally published on Jul 18, 2012.
If you think this one pan chicken cacciatore dish is too difficult to make for a weeknight meal, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Disclosures: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I was hosted by ANICAV on a press trip last September, and toured the Ciao tomato factory. I have been promoting Italian canned tomatoes since I started my website in 2011, and as always, all opinions are my own.
I may be going out on a limb here, but I bet many of you have already decided that chicken cacciatore is just too difficult or complicated for you to make, especially on a weeknight.
Well, forgive me for saying that I’d like to prove you wrong. In fact, this is such an easy dish, that if you chop the veggies the night before, making it the next day is a piece of cake. Actually, it’s much easier than cake! As a matter of fact, you could brown the chicken and veggies and put everything in a crock pot, and have dinner ready to serve by the time you come home!
What Nationality is Chicken Cacciatore?
Italy is where chicken cacciatore originates, although, there’s a similar French dish with the same name (in French, of course: poulet chasseur). The dish is made from the north to the south of Italy, with some variations in how it is made.
What Does Cacciatore Mean?
“Cacciatore” means hunter in Italian. So, pollo alla cacciatore means hunter’s style chicken. It’s a simple dish that is not meant to be fancy or complicated.
What is Cacciatore Sauce Made of?
The sauce mainly consists of finely chopped vegetables, tomatoes and some sort of liquid (water, broth, or red/white wine) in which to simmer the chicken. In parts of Italy, mushrooms and/or olives are also used.
What is Served with Chicken Cacciatore?
Chicken cacciatore is meant to be served on its own. Some crusty, homemade bread for the sauce is a good idea, but if you want to keep it authentic, it is a “secondo” or a meal that comes after the pasta dish. Italians usually serve many dishes without a side. Pasta never has a side and is not served with meat on the same plate.
My recipe is based on this one. It’s in Italian, but I think you’ll find my translation below much easier to follow–unless of course, you read Italian. It’s an authentic Italian recipe so you can tell your family and friends that you’re making the real deal.
Of course, your results will depend on your quality of ingredients. Try to buy an organic chicken, and use the best tomatoes you can find. Here are the Ciao tomatoes I use. I highly recommend them since I toured their factory in Southern Italy this past September.
The Ciao brand tomatoes are harvested and then quickly processed so that they are canned within hours of leaving the plant! Quality control is strict and you will taste the difference in the flavor of these amazing tomatoes! (I’ve linked to the San Marzano DOP cans, which are an even better quality product than the can I show in the photo. See if you can find them at your local Italian market).
Try this similar Mediterranean chicken, mushrooms and rice recipe
I hope you enjoy this easy recipe.
Chicken Cacciatore (Pollo alla Cacciatore)
Hunter’s Chicken (adapted from Giallo Zafferano) serves 6
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
Sauté the Chicken and Vegetables
In a very large sauté pan over medium high heat, heat the extra virgin olive oil until hot, then add the chicken pieces (don’t remove the skin as it adds flavour.) Sauté for about 5 minutes each side, or until it begins to brown. It should not be thoroughly cooked.
Add, the diced onion, garlic, carrot, celery, about 1 tsp. of Kosher or sea salt (less if regular) and some ground black pepper.
Add the Rest of the Ingredients
Next, add the rosemary and let cook for about 5 minutes. See how easy this is? You haven’t even broken a sweat yet, right? (If you want to use a crock pot/Instant Pot, do so at this point and just add the rest of the ingredients, and set it to low for as long as is required for your pot).
When the vegetables are nicely colored, add the wine and let it evaporate.
Once the wine has evaporated, add the tomato puree or chopped tomatoes.
Stir well and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the vegetables have cooked down into almost a soft sauce. If the chicken starts to dry out, add some water or chicken broth. (I let mine cook closer to an hour, and no liquid was necessary.) Taste for salt and pepper and add if needed.
When ready to serve, garnish with chopped parsley, some sprigs or rosemary (if you have some), and serve on its own, with a salad afterwards. Yes, Italians have salad after the main course(s).
Now, honestly, besides the vegetable chopping taking a few minutes of time, how complicated was that? I told you that making chicken cacciatore was easy!
If you try this chicken cacciatore recipe, please let me know what you think of it in the comments below, or leave a review (click on the stars in the recipe card). Thank you!
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Find more delicious chicken recipes below.
- one whole chicken, cut up, preferably organic
- one clove of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 or 3 stalks celery, finely diced
- 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups (14 oz or 400g) canned tomato puree (check the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe website for recommended brands)
- few small sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
- 6 oz (3/4 c) red or white wine
- 2 tsp Kosher or sea salt (more to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley
- In a very large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the extra virgin olive oil until hot, then add the chicken pieces (don't remove the skin as it adds flavour.) Sauté for about 5 minutes each side or until it begins to brown. It should not be thoroughly cooked.
- Add, the diced onion, garlic, carrot, celery, about 3/4 tsp. of Kosher or sea salt (less if regular) and some ground black pepper. Next, add the rosemary and let cook for about 5 minutes. (If you want to use a crock pot, do so at this point and just add the wine, tomato puree and a cup of water or chicken broth, and set it to low.)
- When the vegetables are nicely colored, add the wine and let it evaporate.
- Once the wine has evaporated, add the tomato puree. Stir well and allow to simmer gently (covered) for at least 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the vegetables are almost a soft sauce. If the chicken starts to dry out, add some water or chicken broth. (I let mine cook closer to an hour, and no liquid was necessary.) Taste for salt and pepper and add if needed.
- When ready to serve, garnish with chopped parsley on its own or with a salad afterwards.
This recipe can easily be cooked in a slow cooker or Instant Pot after sauteing on the cooktop.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 601Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 997mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 35g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
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I was hosted by ANICAV on a press trip last September, and toured the Ciao tomato factory. I have been promoting Italian canned tomatoes since I started my website in 2011, and as always, all opinions are my own.