Chicken Cacciatore is such an easy and delicious dinner. This chicken dinner is made with easy to find ingredients and is simple to throw together. This is a must make family dinner recipe.
If you love easy stove top meals as much as we do, you are going to adore this Chicken Cacciatore recipe. Just like with all of my recipes, I worked to take this classic and ensure that it was simple to make, didn’t involve complicated steps, and was made with easy to find ingredients.
The result is my own spin on a classic recipe that kids will love and you will find easy to whip up. Another thing I love about this recipe is that it is truly to tweak so that it works exactly for your family. If your family doesn’t love capers, just leave them out. If you are also married to someone who is mortal enemies with onions, just swap it out for some onion powder. I love recipes that we can make our own, and this one is perfect for that.
What is Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken cacciatore is a pasta dish with a delicious tomato-based sauce. Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian and refers to a rustic hunter-style dish made with meat, herbs, and various vegetables including peppers, onion, mushrooms, and sometimes olives. This deliciousness is served over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes.
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
Here is a brief overview of how to make this recipe for chicken cacciatore. For the full recipe including all measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Prepare the chicken. Pat the chicken dry and season it with salt and pepper. Then roll the chicken in the flour so that it is lightly coated. Read more about this below.
- Cook the chicken. In a hot skillet, brown the chicken on both sides. Remove it from the skillet at set aside.
- Sauté the vegetables. Add the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and peppers to the skillet and cook until the onion is translucent.
- Make the sauce. Add the wine to the pan and scrape down any brown bits. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, and capers. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve over spaghetti. Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan.
The Importance of Patting The Chicken Dry
A crucial step in this recipe is patting the chicken dry before seasoning it. This will remove any excess moisture and allow a thin layer of flour to stick to the chicken and give it a slight coating. I recommend using paper towels to do this, making sure to pat each side of the chicken thighs. Please do not skip this step.
Dredging the chicken in flour gives it a perfect coating, very different than deep frying chicken which results in a crisp exterior. Make sure to season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper before dredging them in flour or the seasonings won’t stick.
Cooking With Wine
This recipe uses red wine to deglaze the pan and make part of the cacciatore sauce. When choosing a red wine, use one that you enjoy drinking. No need to splurge on an expensive bottle, but the flavor of the wine will shine through in the flavor of the sauce. Do not use a wine labeled “cooking wine”.
I often get asked when making a recipe that asks for wine if the alcohol will cook off. The general rule is that it has to cook for at least three hours to completely cook out of a dish, which does not happen in this chicken cacciatore recipe. If you prefer to make this recipe without wine, I recommend replacing it with chicken broth or vegetable broth to deglaze the pan.
If you are not a big wine drinker, I recommend buying a pack of small bottles of wine to keep in your pantry for when you need red wine for a recipe like this one.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Store any leftover chicken cacciatore in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It works best to store the sauce in a separate container from the pasta. Use the stovetop or microwave to reheat your leftovers, only reheating the portion you plan to eat. Serve over fresh or reheated pasta. Leftovers should not be reheated more than once.
What to Serve With Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken cacciatore is served over spaghetti (or any pasta you have or enjoy). It could also be enjoyed over rice or zucchini noodles. Since the dish is loaded with protein and vegetables, it is a meal on its own, but here are a few ideas to round it out:
If you make this easy chicken cacciatore recipe or any of my other recipes, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (remove fat and pat very dry)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup red wine (read my recommendations here)
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes undrained
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons capers
- fresh parsley optional
- parmesan cheese grated
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour so that it is lightly coated. (Read more about this here.)1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.2 tablespoons olive oil
- Turn the heat down to medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and peppers to the skillet. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.4 garlic cloves, 1 yellow onion, 1 red bell pepper
- Add the wine to the pan and deglaze the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, and capers. Return the chicken to the pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cook uncovered for 5 minutes.1/2 cup red wine, 15 ounces crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 tablespoons capers
- Serve over spaghetti with fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese.