This Chicken Cacciatore Recipe features tender, fall off the bone chicken in a rich, savory sauce. This classic Italian dish may seem intimidating but it is made in just one pan and is much easier than it seems!
Chicken Cacciatore is a classic dish that most people recognize, but probably one that isn’t made often. This dish is known for its multitude of ingredients and slow simmer, so it often seems unattainable for a weeknight meal. Luckily, I’ve created a dish that has all the flavor but takes a fraction of the time and ingredients. This is a nice shortcut recipe that still provides you with a rich, decadent sauce and super tender chicken.
Why You’ll Love It
- One Pot: this impressive, hearty dish is made in just one pot. This means aside from a cutting board and knife there really isn’t much mess to clean up!
- Versatile: as written, I tried to get as close to a traditional cacciatore while still keeping the recipe easy. However, this is a very forgiving dish you can alter. This will work with other cuts of chicken and different vegetables.
- Make Ahead: since one of the best things about this dish is how the flavors meld together this is a great dish to make ahead of time. The flavor only gets deeper and richer as it sits!
Ingredients for Chicken Cacciatore
As always, this is an overview of what you’ll need for this chicken recipe. For exact measurements, scroll down for the printable recipe card.
- Chicken Thighs: Specifically bone in, skin on thighs with excess fat trimmed. I recommend cooking these with the skin on, then discarding the skin before serving. This may seem counterintuitive but the skin protects the meat from overcooking and ensures each bite is super juicy.
- Vegetables and Herbs: Fresh onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and parsley are used in this recipe. As well as canned tomatoes to add depth and richness to the sauce.
- Red Wine and Chicken Broth: for the wine choose a nice dry red wine such as a Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Spices: salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes are used in this recipe.
- Black Olives: these are a signature component of classic chicken cacciatore. If you don’t love olives I would still use them in the recipe and simply remove them before serving. The salty, briny flavor really does add a lot to the sauce.
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
In addition to the ingredients listed above you will need a Dutch oven or large deep skillet to make this recipe. I have documented each step of the process so you can make perfect, savory chicken and sauce!
Brown the Chicken
The first step is to properly prepare the star of the show, the chicken. After you trim off any fat pat the chicken dry. This is important because if the surface of the chicken is wet and it hits a hot skillet it actually works to steam the chicken instead of browning it. Once the chicken is dry brown it in a hot skillet or Dutch oven for 5-7 minutes. Remember, this step is not meant to cook the chicken through, this step is great for adding flavor to the overall dish. Once the chicken is browned remove it from the skillet and set aside.
Sauté the Vegetables
This dish has so many amazing fresh vegetables. Before adding all of the other ingredients we will sauté the fresh ingredients to bring out maximum flavor. Add the onions, peppers and cook until they begin to soften. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme until the mushrooms are soft.
Add Wine and Broth
Next, slowly pour in the red wine as you scrape up and bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. This is called deglazing the pan and helps to get up any bits of flavor in the bottom of the pan and nicely incorporates them in the sauce. Next, add the broth to the skillet along with the canned tomatoes and spices.
Add the Chicken and Cook
Add the chicken to the sauce and spoon a bit of the sauce over the chicken to really maximize the flavor it soaks up. Bring the sauce to a boil and once it has boiled for about 2 minutes reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce 30-35 minutes. This step, the low, slow and gentle simmer is what creates perfectly tender, fall off the bone chicken.
Add Olives and Thicken
Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees use tongs to carefully remove the chicken from the skillet. Set the chicken aside. Add the olives to the skillet and stir. Simmer the sauce about 10 minutes uncovered until it has thickened. While the chicken has been removed from the sauce carefully remove the skin and add back to the sauce once thickened.
Before serving spoon sauce over the chicken, or add the chicken to a deep serving platter and pour the sauce directly over the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy! Some amazing side dish options include:
- Garlic Butter Cauliflower: Loaded with two kinds of cheese and packed with flavor this is an easy side dish your family will love!
- Garlic Bread Chaffles: For just 2.4 net carbs per chaffle, you’ll want this cheesy, gluten-free garlic bread with every meal!
- Keto Cheddar Garlic Biscuits: These biscuits are excellent low carb subs for classic cheesy garlic biscuits!
- Air Fryer Green Beans: Fresh green beans are paired with seasoning and lemon to make the perfect keto side dish!
This dish will keep up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container. If possible, keep the thighs submerged in the veggies and sauce for maximum flavor retention. You can easily reheat chicken cacciatore in the microwave or oven, or you can do it in a skillet on the stove. The key is warming it slowly so that the chicken doesn’t overcook or dry out.
This is a great freezer friendly meal. Simply allow the dish to cool completely and portion the veggies, sauce, and chicken into individual portions in freezer-safe containers, then enjoy within 3 months for the best texture. Let thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
No, this is not a spicy dish. There is a very small amount of red pepper flakes in this dish, but if you are sensitive you can simply skip this ingredient.
Yes, bone in chicken will provide the most flavor but you can use any cut you wish. Remember the cooking time may be different so rely on an instead read meat thermometer.
You can use additional both in place of the wine. However, the wine does add the best, most authentic flavor.
Other Italian Dishes
Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
- 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt divided
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 red bell peppers cut into strips
- 1 green bell peppers cut into strips
- 10 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup pitted black olives cut in half
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Pat chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt on both sides. Heat olive oil in a 6-quart large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the chicken pieces, skin side down, cooking for 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate for later. Note: The chicken will NOT be cooked through at this point.
- Once the chicken has been removed add the onion, and peppers and cook for 8 minutes until softened. Mix in the garlic, thyme, and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant and softened.
- Next, deglaze the pan with the red wine over medium-high heat, cooking for
3-5 minutes until partially evaporated. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, oregano, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Place the chicken pieces on top of the mixture and spoon some of the liquid on top of each piece of chicken.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and simmer, covered, for about 35 minutes. The chicken should become super soft and be fully cooked through, reaching at least 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Uncover the pan. Remove the chicken from the pan with tongs or a slotted spoon and place onto a large plate and set aside. Remove the skin from the chicken.
- Mix the olives into the sauce in the pan. Simmer the sauce in the pan over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 15 minutes until thickened.
- Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with parsley.