Chicken Cacciatore is classic Italian comfort food. The word cacciatore means hunter, and the style of cooking means a dish that is hearty with lots of earthy vegetables and some wine. I’ve updated my Grandma Carbone’s recipe here. I use a combination of breasts and thighs; you can use just thighs if you prefer, but I don’t recommend using only breasts, as they’re not juicy enough to flavor the sauce. You can use boneless, skinless chicken pieces if you wish, but you’ll get the richest flavor from bone-in, skin-on chicken. The dish goes best with something that soaks up the yummy sauce like pasta or rice. Rustic bread is another traditional choice. You could also use mashed potatoes if you like. I usually cut carbs by using spaghetti squash and top the dish with some shredded Parmesan. Buon appetito!
- olive oil
- 4 lb chicken pieces
- 4 oz pancetta, diced
- 3 sm.-med. sweet bell peppers, diced red, yellow, and/or orange
- 1 med. onion, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ c. dry red wine Chianti is always a good choice.
- 1 14.5-oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- ¼ c. chicken stock
- 1 tsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh oregano, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- dash red pepper flakes
Coat bottom of lg. stock pot or Dutch oven w/ olive oil over med.-low heat.
Add chicken and cook until well browned on all sides, approx. 3-4 min. per side, working in batches as necessary. Set chicken aside when browned.
Add pancetta to pot and sauté until golden brown, approx. 5-7 min.
Add peppers and sauté until beginning to soften, approx. 5 min.
Add onion and sauté until translucent, approx. 3-4 min. Stir in garlic.
Add browned chicken.
Add bay leaf and let cook one minute.
Add wine and reduce, approx. 5-6 min.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, herbs, and seasonings.
Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is fork-tender and reaches temp of at least 165 F, approx. 60 min.
Remove bay leaf. Transfer to serving dish. Garnish as desired. Serve.