This traditional chicken cacciatore recipe is fit for a king. It features chicken simmered in a homemade tomato sauce. This dish is a classic Italian favorite, and it's easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients. The best part is that the tomato sauce can be made from scratch, or you can use your favorite store-bought variety. So get your pots and pans ready because it's time to cook up some chicken cacciatore.
Why You'll Love this Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Chicken cacciatore is one of my favorite meals to make on a chilly fall or winter evening. With its rich, savory tomato sauce and vegetables, this dish is the ultimate comfort food. Plus, it's easy to prepare and so delicious.
Chicken cacciatore is a popular Italian dish that consists of chicken cooked in a tomato-based sauce. Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian, so it should be full of robust flavors. It is often seasoned with herbs and spices, such as basil, oregano, black pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes to give it a rich and bold flavor. This delicious dish can be served over pasta or rice for a hearty meal or eaten on its own as an easy weeknight dinner.
Whether you serve it with some steamed rice or your favorite pasta, this dish is sure to become a new family favorite.
Is this Recipe Healthy?
Chicken cacciatore is a healthy and delicious dish that can be enjoyed as part of your balanced diet. The chicken is packed full of protein, and you can remove the skin to lower the fat content. The tomato sauce features plenty of vegetables that are essential for optimal health and well-being.
Tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic are all healthy vegetables that are full of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and potassium, while carrots contain beta carotene and folate. All of these vegetables have antioxidants that fight oxidative stress and inflammation. And you could add even more vegetables, such as mushrooms and bell peppers.
Chicken cacciatore is a great option for anyone looking for a hearty meal that will also benefit their overall health.
How to Make Traditional Chicken Cacciatore
- Dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Chop the tomatoes into chunks. Set aside.
- Smash the garlic cloves.
- Saute the smashed garlic cloves in the olive oil to infuse the olive oil with the garlic.
- Add the chicken thighs and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan.
- Add the diced onion, celery, and carrots to the pan and add additional olive oil if needed. Cook until golden and fragrant.
- Add the tomato chunks to the pan and cook until they get soft and change color.
- Add the browned chicken thighs back to the pan and add the tomato passata, wine, salt, pepper, and dried rosemary.
- Cover and cook for 1 hour on low heat.
- When the cooking time is almost done, taste the sauce and adjust the acidity by adding the sugar. Mix well and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve.
Tips for Making the Best Chicken Cacciatore
To make the best version of this traditional chicken cacciatore, it's important to follow a few simple tips:
- Add the amount of sugar to fit your personal taste. The use of sugar is optional, but it helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Experiment with a variety of herbs, such as thyme, sage, or basil.
- Add red pepper flakes for added heat, if desired.
- Add additional vegetables, such as mushrooms or bell peppers, if desired.
- Serve this chicken cacciatore with fried or mashed potatoes, spaghetti noodles, or rice topped with fresh Parmesan cheese.
- Remove the skin from the chicken to lower the fat content. You can also substitute chicken breasts, but they can dry out. The thighs retain both moisture and flavor, making it the perfect piece of meat for this hearty dish.
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Basic Rustic Mashed Potatoes
- Smashed Potatoes with Chimichurri
- Butternut Squash Noodles
Chicken Cacciatore FAQs
No, you can substitute boneless chicken thighs, boneless chicken breasts, and bone-in drumsticks or wings. For the best flavor and juiciness, you should choose a cut with some fat that isn't too thick. Very lean cuts could end up dry and tough.
If you can't find tomato passata, the best substitute is tomato puree. Crushed tomatoes will also work.
You can store leftover chicken cacciatore in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you are looking for a delicious, hearty meal that is also good for your health, then this traditional chicken cacciatore is the perfect recipe for you. Made with healthy vegetables like tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, this dish is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And you can make it with a variety of different herbs and spices, allowing you to customize the dish to suit your individual tastes. Give it a try today.Print
Traditional Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Classic chicken cacciatore with a homemade tomato sauce to die for. Tender chicken and super flavorful sauce.
- Prep Time: 15m
- Cook Time: 2h 30m
- Total Time: 2h 45m
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Lunch/dinner/chicken/poultry
- Cuisine: Italian
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 onion
- 1 celery stalks
- 1 carrot
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tomato passata
- 1 cup cognac/red wine/ marsala wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- A bunch of fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
- Start by prepping the veggies, peeling, and dicing the onion, dicing the celery, and dicing the carrot. Chop roughly the tomatoes. Set aside.
- Smash the garlic cloves.
- In the pan add the olive oil and saute gently the smashed garlic cloves to infusion the olive oil with them.
- Add the chicken thighs and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper too. Remove from the pan.
- Add the diced veggies to the pan and add additional olive oil if needed. Cook until golden and fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook until they get soft and change color.
- Add the browned chicken thighs back to the pan and add the tomato passata, the brandy/red wine, or marsala wine, alongside the salt, pepper, and dried rosemary.
- Cover and let cook for 1 hour on low heat.
- Close to the end, taste and adjust the acidity by adding the sugar. Mix well and let cook for additional 10-15 minutes.
- Serve with fresh parsley chopped on top
This chicken cacciatore goes very well with smashed or fried potatoes or even white rice.
It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in a sealed container.
The use of sugar is optional, but it really helps to balance out the acidity of the tomato.
Other herbs that can be added are thyme, sage, and even basil.
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