Chicken cacciatore (or “hunter's style” chicken) is an ultra comforting and rustic chicken dish filled with lots of rich, earthy flavor. My chicken cacciatore recipe is prepared with a flavorful sauce filled with aromatic vegetables, wine, and herbs, terrific spooned atop of pasta!
A Perfect One-Pan Chicken Dish Comfort
A rich and saucy chicken dish prepared in a rustic way using lots of aromatics is my favorite kind of chicken dish. And when it is prepared using only one pan, that's even better!
For me, a dish such as this represents perfect comfort, the kind that can be sopped with soft, fresh bread or spooned atop of buttery noodles, each bite a savory reminder that home cooking definitely tastes the best.
Chicken cacciatore is just such a dish...
With its deeply developed flavors from a liberal use of onions, garlic, red bell peppers, a sprinkle of briny capers, wine and herbs, chicken cacciatore is a true example of a rustic recipe at its best and most delicious.
Served straight out the pan with heaping spoonfuls of the rich juices and soft, sweet vegetables it was braised with, it makes for the perfect one-pan comfort meal, impossible to beat when comfy-coziness is what you crave!
My Recipe for Chicken Cacciatore
The term “cacciatore” is the Italian word for “hunter”, and another name for this popular recipe is “hunter style chicken”, or “chicken alla cacciatore”.
Chicken cacciatore is basically a braised chicken dish in which seared chicken is simmered gently in a sauce (either stove-top or in the oven) along with aromatic herbs and vegetables until juicy and cooked through.
I personally prefer to braise mine in the oven, uncovered, to allow for the skin to become deeply browned and crisped.
A classic chicken cacciatore recipe often consists of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers.
Some recipes also include mushrooms and I also like to include them in my recipe in the form of sliced cremini, which are deliciously “woodsy” and meaty.
The herbs most often used are rosemary, thyme, and parsley, the latter two being my favorites to use. I also like to add in a bay leaf for aroma.
Often times there is a hint of wine (either white or red) added as a part of the cooking liquid. I like to add the wine as it lends extra flavor, complexity, and a hint of acidity, which creates some depth and balance.
Here's a sneak peek at my chicken cacciatore recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I sear my chicken pieces in a hot, heavy-bottom pan on both sides until golden-browned. Then, I remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set them on a plate to hold,
- Next, I add into my pan the aromatic ingredients, followed by some tomato paste, wine, and stock. I also add capers and a bay leaf.
- Then, I nestle the chicken pieces back into the pan and place it into the oven to braise for about 45-50 minutes, uncovered.
- To finish, I sprinkle in the fresh herbs and serve with my favorite accompaniment.
by Ingrid Beer
This chicken cacciatore is rustic and flavorful, filled with fresh, aromatic vegetables and herbs, and kissed with a hint of wine!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 656 calories per serving
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
- 4 chicken legs (or drumsticks), skin on
- Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Black pepper
- 1 onion, quartered and sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cored and sliced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced thickly
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¾ cup wine (white or red, your choice)
- 1 (28 ounce / 794 gram) can diced tomatoes with juices
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained of brine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Add your chicken pieces into a large bowl, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus about 1 teaspoon of the salt, the paprika, and a couple of pinches of the black pepper, and rub into the chicken.
- Place a large heavy-bottom braising pan or skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3-4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once hot, add in the chicken pieces skin-side down (work in batches if necessary) and allow to sear for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden-brown but not cooked through. Remove the seared chicken from the the pan and place on a plate to hold, and repeat with any remaining chicken.
- To that same pan, add the onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms, and saute together until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Add in the Italian seasoning, along with the garlic, and stir to incorporate.
- Once aromatic, add in the tomato paste and cook that for about 30 seconds to cook out the raw flavor, then add in the wine, and allow that to reduce for about 30 seconds.
- Add in the diced tomatoes with their juices, along with the chicken stock, the bay leaf and the capers, and stir those in to incorporate. Nestle the chicken pieces into the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer, then transfer to the oven to braise, uncovered, for about 50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Sprinkle over the fresh parsley and the thyme, and serve with an accompaniment such as warm bread, pasta, gnocchi, or potatoes.
Tips & Tidbits for Chicken Cacciatore recipe:
- Choose your chicken pieces: I prefer to use a combination of thighs and legs for my recipe, but you can use all thighs, all legs, or even breasts.
- Canned tomatoes: If you can find San Marzano tomatoes, these are the most flavorful, but use whatever good quality canned diced tomatoes that are available to you.
- Where to find bay leaves: You can find bay leaves in the spices/seasoning section of your market, with the dried herbs. They usually come by the small handful in a glass jar.
- Omit the wine: If you prefer to leave out the wine, that is perfectly fine, just substitute more chicken broth.
- Stove top or oven: I prefer to cook my chicken cacciatore in the oven without a cover to allow the skin to become a deep brown and a bit crispy, but you can also braise it stove-top by covering with a lid and simmering very gently (on low) for the same amount of time.
Hungry for more cozy chicken recipes? Check out these Braised Chicken Thighs, this Chicken Paprikash, this Balsamic Chicken, this Harissa Chicken with Potatoes, this Chicken Cassoulet, or this Chicken with Mushroom Sauce!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2018, and has been updated with even more love!