This Easy Chicken Cacciatore made in a skillet on the stovetop is a fast and easy dinner recipe. A delicious and hearty chicken dish made with fresh ingredients. Italian Comfort Food never tasted so good!
This is one of those recipes that bring back so many childhood memories. My mother would make this chicken cacciatore at least once a week and it was one of our favourites.
I consider this the perfect Italian Comfort food, my family loves it too.
- Chicken – pieces – chicken breasts or chicken thighs
- Garlic – 1-2 cloves minced
- Olive oil
- Onion – chopped
- Pepper – bell peppers chopped
- Tomatoes – canned chopped tomatoes
- Water – or you can add chicken broth if you prefer
- Bay leaf – 1 fresh bay leaf
- Oregano – ground oregano
- Basil – dried or fresh basil
- Hot red pepper flakes – optional
Other traditional vegetables you can use are sliced mushrooms or chopped celery and or carrots. You can also add some chopped Italian parsley if you wish.
How to make Chicken Cacciatore
Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper. In a large pan heat the olive oil, then add the chicken and cook on medium-high heat until browned on one side, flip and move the chicken to one side of the pan.
Add the chopped onion and garlic, cook until onion is translucent then add the peppers, tomatoes, water, bay leaf, oregano, basil, hot pepper flakes and salt, bring to a boil.
Simmer until the chicken is tender and sauce has thickened. Serve immediately.
Chicken cacciatore was probably one of the first Italian recipes, along with her amazing Meatballs that my mother made and reminded me of her Italian roots.
What does Chicken Cacciatore mean?
From living in Italy and asking a lot of questions, I have discovered that “cacciatore” means “hunter” and does not necessarily mean made with chicken or in a tomato sauce, it was oven made with rabbit or game meat.
Apparently it originated in Tuscany and is considered a true Italian Comfort dish. Made with tomatoes, onions, peppers and sometimes even carrots and celery. Therefore Chicken Cacciatore and Chicken Hunter Style are the same dish.
Should you rinse the chicken before cooking?
Salmonella, Campylobacter and other harmful bacteria live on raw chicken. Washing or rinsing the chicken will not remove any harmful live bacteria such as salmonella or campylobacter from it.
In fact it can worsen it by helping the bacteria to spread throughout your kitchen. Whereas cooking the chicken thoroughly will eliminate any bacteria.
How to make Chicken Cacciatore in the oven?
I would definitely brown the chicken 3-4 minutes on each side as written in the recipe first, then lightly brown the garlic and onion. Then move them to an oven safe baking pan or dutch oven, add the remaining ingredients stir to combine.
Cover the baking dish with foil or lid and bake in a pre-heated 375F (190C) oven for approximately 25 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes, chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165F (74C).
Can I add wine to the recipe
Yes you can add either red wine or white wine, although the traditional method is with red wine, I think 1/4-1/3 a cup would be enough.
Once you have browned the chicken remove it from the pan, add the garlic, onion and chopped peppers and sautee for about 4-5 minutes, add the wine and cook on medium/high until wine has evaporated approximately 2-3 minutes. Then continue with the recipe.
How to store Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Cacciatore should be stored in an airtight container and can be kept for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. It can also be stored once it has cooled completely in a freezer safe container for up to two months.
I love the spicy tomato sauce filled with the taste of onions and peppers and the aroma in the house makes everyone’s mouth water.
I find that this recipe is best made in the morning, let it sit for the day refrigerated and then re-heat it in the evening, but if you are like us and can’t wait that is ok too, because what you have is an amazing chicken cacciatore on a plate.
What can be served with Chicken Cacciatore?
If you like you can serve this chicken cacciatore recipe over rice or pasta or just as it is with some wonderful, crusty, Italian bread that soaks up all that yummy, mouth-watering sauce.
Whatever way you serve it, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did and as much as my family does now. Buon Appetito!
More Delicious Chicken Recipes
Easy Skillet Chicken Cacciatore
- 4-6 pieces chicken (legs or breasts with skin removed if desired) (legs or breasts with skin removed if desired)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 dashes pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large pepper chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14 ounces) (400 grams with juice nothing else added)
- 1 cup water or chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil or 4-5 fresh basil leaves
- 1-2 dashes hot pepper flakes if desired
- Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper. In a large pan heat the olive oil, then add the chicken and cook on medium-high heat until browned on one side, flip and move the chicken to one side of the pan.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic, cook until the onion is translucent then add the pepper, tomatoes, water, bay leaf, oregano, basil, hot pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil.
- Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes then remove the lid for the rest of the cooking approximately 25 minutes until the chicken is tender (chicken is cooked when the internal temperature is 165F / 74C and the sauce has thickened, stir occasionally. After about 30 minutes taste for salt and add if necessary). Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Republished from October 21, 2014.
Can you sub chicken broth for water?
Hi Gnome, yes you can, good idea. Take care!
Only thing I did different was I cut the peppers in strips and added sugar to the sauce. It was sweet and delicious.
I made it today and it was very easy and tasty! Plan on making it again next week. A new recipe for my repertoire! Thank you!
Hi Linda, thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year.
Happy New Year to you and yours as well!
Angela Sciurca says
I’ve made this for the last 70 years, including the carrots and celery and to put a Sicilian spin so good.
Thanks Angela, I agree, so good.
John A Suressi Sr says
I would also like your moms meatball recipes
Hi John, all you have to do is click on Meatballs and it will take you to the post. Have a great weekend.
Marisel Green says
I added mushrooms and used boneless skinless chicken thighs. Yum! Will make again!
Hi Marisel, so glad you enjoyed it and yes good idea with the mushrooms. Have a great day.
Angela Sciurca says
I always look forward to your recipes. This is one my Sicilian grandmother made, and now I have made it for 70 years. The only thing I Ido differently l is to add green stuffed olives at the end, and do not include bay leaf, only because I do not care for the taste. Thank you for all the inspiration..
Hi Angela, thanks so much. I like the idea of stuffed olives and so would the rest of my family. Have a great week.
Could you use wine instead of water? Want to make so haven’t rated yet. Looks great. Need a recipe for company.
Hi Darlene, I would probably do half and half instead of all wine. Let me know how it goes.
Should I out on lid while simmering..
Hi Josn, I cover it for about 20 minutes and then remove the cover to thicken it and finish cooking the chicken. Hope that helps.
Danny Mc says
Will try this tomorrow looks good
Hi Danny, hope you enjoy it.
What would you serve it over rice or pasta
Hi Dale I usually serve it with Italian crusty bread, but either rice or pasta would be good, whichever you prefer.
Is it dried oregano & Basil? Or fresh?
Hi Hushee it is dried oregano and basil although sometimes I throw in some fresh basil also if I have it. Have a great weekend.
I love chicken cacciatore and this one looks perfect!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!
Looks yummy! I have never made chicken cacciatore before but this looks great! Thanks.
Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare says
Hi from FBP! This recipe looks amazing!! And really healthy too. 🙂
Hi Crystal, thanks for stopping by, one of those healthy and delicious dishes. Have a great day!