Chicken cacciatore recipe is a star in Italian cuisine. We make the sauce as the classic version – crushed tomatoes, sauteed vegetables, and finish with a touch of parmesan.
You get everything in one bite – savory chicken, sweet tomatoes, fresh onion, mushroom, and onion. There is no better way to have a comfort dinner than this chicken cacciatore recipe!
What Is Chicken Cacciatore?
The word “Cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian. Meanwhile, “Alla cacciatora”, which is the original Italian name of Chicken Cacciatore, is a term referring to a hunter-style meal.
Chicken cacciatore recipe is simply prepared with meat (chicken or rabbit), herbs, vegetables, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, wild mushrooms and wine.
Coming from Tuscany and Umbria, this authentic Italian dish was built on what people could find back then – wild animals. In time, Alla Cacciatora kept it up with the cross-cultural craze of dining, and arrived in Western as Chicken Cacciatore.
Is Chicken Cacciatore Healthy?
This classic Italian dish might have a thousand versions because each home cook has secret ingredients and ways of cooking. We come up with our own version that is a bit lighter, healthier and has a bunch of vegetables.
Mushrooms: low in calories and high in protein, mushrooms are packed with nutritional value such as vitamin B and D. Eating this vegetable daily can help in boosting the immune system and improving digestion.
Bell pepper: peppers come in different sizes and colors – red, orange, yellow, and green. All of them are an excellent source of vitamin A and C, fiber, and potassium.
This wonderful veggie brings about many health benefits from enhancing your eye health to preventing cancer. Their vibrant color, sweetness, and crunchiness also can give an explosion in palate for any dish.
Tomatoes: tomatoes are referred to a magical food since beyond a tasty vegetable, they provide many basic nutritions. One important of them is lycopene – an antioxidant that can enhance our health and protect us from prostate cancer.
Containing vitamin C, A,K, and carotenoids, tomatoes can give a vitamin boost, protect our skin, and lower the risk of sunburn.
How To Make Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Step 1: Season the chicken thigh with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Put in the tomatoes and cook them for 1 minute.
Then transfer them into ice water so that they can cool quickly. Use a sharp knife to remove the tomato skins.
Step 3: In a cast-iron pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thighs on each side until golden brown.
Step 4: Saute crimini mushroom. Remove mushroom from the pan and set aside.
Step 5: Add butter to pan along with onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium heat or until vegetables have softened.
Step 6: Add red wine and cook down for 1 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes, salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper.
Step 7: Return the chicken to the pan. Add chicken broth, vegetables, red pepper flakes, and basil. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 8: Turn the heat off. Sprinkle in the parmesan and parsley.
Step 9: Serve over spaghetti.
Chicken Cacciatore with Chicken Breast
Most chicken cacciatore recipes use chicken thighs for its tender meat and juicy texture. However, for those who want to cut down calories for this recipe, chicken breast is a nice option.
Sauce for Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken cacciatore recipe appears on many family weekly meal rotations for a simple reason. It’s rich, hearty, and easy to make at home with restaurant-quality.
Cacciatore sauce can be made from canned tomatoes, but we believe that nothing can’t beat the fresh ingredients. The sauce is simply kicked up with the vibrant tomatoes, you can taste the sweetness and juiciness in every bite.
Homemade tomato sauce from scratch isn’t hard to make, but it requires a little attention.
Let’s start by picking fresh tomatoes. Any kind of tomatoes works beautifully in this chicken cacciatore recipe, as long as they are of high quality.
Then you should add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan before placing the fresh tomatoes in it. Squeezing or chopping tomatoes finely helps them break down faster.
You can return other ingredients like chicken, vegetables to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook the sauce until you get the desirable consistency.
What Wine Goes with This Recipe?
Adding wine is a simple way to add richness to the dish. Chicken cacciatore is basically chicken thigh cooked in a tomato-based sauce, garlic, pepper, and onion.
In Southern Italy, red wine is the most favored in use, while it’s usually dry white wine that’s preferred in Northern Italy. To name a few:
1. Red Wine
Some wine that can provide the best flavor for this chicken cacciatore recipe: Chianti Classico, Pinot Noir and Lambrusco.
2. White Wine
You can always replace red wine with wine one in its place. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are some of our favorites.
One last note: If you opt for wine, keep it in mind that alcohol will always dilute the sauce, so it’s better to be careful on the amount. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
What Goes with Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken cacciatore recipe starts by seasoning and searing chicken to golden brown. Other ingredients like vegetables are then simmered in the savory tomatoes sauce until tender.
The chicken then added back to the pan along with wine and spices. Everything blends perfectly in the pan. You should finish it with a sprinkle of cheese and fresh herbs.
There are many ways to customize this recipe to your own preference.
The flavors of olive stew with chicken and vegetables are so interesting and irresistible. We prefer kalamata olives, but both black and green olive work beautifully in this recipe.
Cremini mushrooms add a nice texture and an earthy flavor to the sauce. You also can try button mushrooms instead of cremini mushrooms.
Pasta always goes well with Italian dishes, and we recommend spaghetti or fettuccine for this recipe. They can soak up the juices from the sauce and provide a good amount of carb as well.
Some people serve chicken cacciatore over rice instead of pasta, and it’s an ideal alternative. Dipping the spoon of rice in the sauce and taking a bite of succulent chicken, you feel all the goodness of the dish.
How Many Calories in Chicken Cacciatore
Our chicken cacciatore recipe provides 503 calories, including cooked spaghetti. Serving the dish with salad to balance out the creamy flavor and also add a dose of vitamins.
This chicken cacciatore is a complete meal that is going to satisfy your palate and keep you full until the next meal.
If you are craving some chicken dinner ideas, our chicken piccata may be something you want to try. It’s simply tasty and healthy as any other recipes on our website!
What to Serve with Chicken Cacciatore
Of course, it is indisputable that the blend of spices including garlic, bell peppers and Parmesan cheese support the flavor so well. But, know what else would go well with it? A bed of well-cooked pasta or rice for your cacciatore to rest on. If that’s not your suit – how does creamy mashed potatoes or polenta sound to you?
If you ask me about the quickest and easiest side options nearby, then I’d definitely say cauliflower rice and steamed vegetables (spinach, to be typical). Especially if you’re in a hurry for a hearty but tasty meal, all you need will be something vegetal – easily chopped, prepped and cooked through.
Veggies are always the best choice to satisfy both the appetite and ‘healthy’ requirement, aren’t they? Today, we recommend serving this chicken cacciatore recipe with watermelon arugula salad and fresh honey and lemon juice.
Here are the nutrition facts of the whole meal:
Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
- 14 oz plum tomatoes
- 16 oz skinless boneless chicken thigh
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz crimini mushroom sliced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 oz onion chopped
- 2 tsp garlic chopped
- 4 oz bell pepper sliced
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1 tbsp basil chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 0.5 oz parmesan
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- 6 oz spaghetti
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- Season chicken thighs with ¼ teaspoon of salt, ⅛ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put in the tomatoes and cook them for 1 minute. Then transfer them into ice water so that they can cool quickly. Use a sharp knife to remove the tomato skins.
- In a cast-iron pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thighs on each side for 10 minutes in total.
- In the same pan saute crimini mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
- Add butter to the pan along with onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until vegetables have softened.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, add red wine and cook down for 1 minute. Then add in the tomatoes, the remaining salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper.
- Return the chicken to the pan. Add chicken broth, vegetables, red pepper flakes, and basil. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. Sprinkle in the parmesan and parsley. Serve over spaghetti.
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