Chicken Cacciatore

By • July 8, 2012 • 41 Comments

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Author Notes: I couldn't take it anymore. With the weather so warm here for the last couple of weeks, we've been eating salads and quick-grilled meats....tuna and a lot of sandwiches. But I wanted something cooked...something comforting. The other night we caught a few minutes of Bobby Flay doing a throw-down for chicken cacciatore. I knew that's what I wanted... Tom agreed. And so it went.inpatskitchen

Food52 Review: We chose this recipe as our inaugural Winner Winner Chicken Dinner feature, to get fall off to a cozy start. You'll dredge and brown chicken thighs in seasoned flour, stir together a tomatoey stew in the same pot, then add the chicken back to finish braising. Get some pasta or polenta (or farro, or potatoes, or whatever speaks to you) ready the same time, and dinner -- good, chicken, dinner -- is done.The Editors

Makes 4 servings

  • Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • One 14- to 15-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh oregano leaves
  • Grated parmesan for serving
  • Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving
  1. Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about 1/4 inch, and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.
  2. Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.
  4. Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.
  5. Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. After the 30 to 40 minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy!
Jump to Comments (41)

Comments (41) Questions (2)

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2 months ago Gail Simpson

Delicious recipe, I used boneless skinless chicken breasts but followed the rest of the recipe

Dscn3274

2 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank you Gail!

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3 months ago Margaret McCormick

Great recipe, Pat! Made this for Sunday dinner and will enjoy leftovers tomorrow. We served it with noodles - yum. Left out the bacon and instead added a half cup of sliced kalamata olives towards the end.

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks Margaret! Love the olive addition!

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3 months ago Alina Smirnova

Had to do a few adjustments (didn't have mushrooms and fresh herbs, replaced tomato sauce with canned tomatoes and canned tomatoes with fresh ones), but still — delicious. Next time will try to use the beast instead of thighs.

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3 months ago Alina Smirnova

*breast ^^

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks! I'll punt often too when I don't have exact ingredients. Your version sounds wonderful!

Stringio

3 months ago Jenny Sanders

Served this tonight with polenta. The family raved about how good it was. They're all looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks! Leftovers are wonderful!

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3 months ago nitefox

Just tried this recipe..The outcome....DELICIOUS! Glad I decided to double the ingredients, I did leave out the fresh Oregano, but it was still great. Now I'll have some leftovers for tomorrow..

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much nitefox!

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3 months ago Arrxx

Question. I find that after nicely browning chicken with the skin and then braising it the skin gets kind of rubbery and unappealing. Certainly not crispy. Any thoughts? I sometimes remove the skin after browning.

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

If it's an issue for you ,then by all means, remove the skin. It's never bothered us but I see your point. Or possibly run everything under the broiler for a few minutes?

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3 months ago PolAnimal Australia

I assume the ounces crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock/broth are fluid ounces? Could metric units be included please?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Here's an easy conversion calculator:
http://www.metric-conversions...

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3 months ago PolAnimal Australia

Fluid ounces tho?

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Sorry...yes, fluid ounces.

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3 months ago economimi

This was delicious! Made it for the two of us with spaghetti and we have two thighs, sauce and pasta for another meal. It was easy to put together and really flavorful. Great recipe.

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank you economimi!!

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3 months ago Hockeymom

I don't use bacon in my cooking. Any alternatives?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

HI Hockeymom! Skip the bacon but don't drain the oil after browning the chicken. I think it will be great!

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3 months ago Burf

I made this last night and it was GREAT! Midway through Step 5, I threw it in a 400 degree oven for about and hour. This is a definite keeper! Two of us finished the thighs, but with a salad & polenta/pasta, you could probably get away with one per person, imo. However, this recipe makes restraint very difficult.

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks Burf! I'm doing the "happy dance"!

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3 months ago Lisa

I made it tonight with thighs and it turned out terrific. Next time though I will use a lot less fresh oregano. Just a few small leaves would've done the trick for my taste but the whole family loved it anyway. I served it with rice since I was out of pasta. Definitely a keeper.

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much Lisa! So happy you enjoyed!

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3 months ago tinarina

1 thigh per person? Unless they are huge, this would not serve 4 people in my house.

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

You could add more chicken if you'd like. The recipe makes quite a bit of sauce.

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3 months ago Candyce Egan

Can you make this a day ahead and reheat?

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Definitely!

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3 months ago Lisa

Any reason to limit this recipe to just thighs? I'd like to use a small, whole cut-up chicken instead...

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

Please do!

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3 months ago beth handa

Can I make this with boneless chicken breast? Thanks, looks delicious.

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

I don't see why not beth. Brown the breasts and then braise the vegetables for 20 to 30 minutes and then add the chicken back in and continue to braise for about 10 minutes. Hope you like it!

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3 months ago UTCobb

Do you use half of one onion? Or just cut the onion in half and then cut it and use the whole thing?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Use the whole onion...I find cutting it in half makes it easier to slice. Hope you enjoy if you make it.

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3 months ago Susan Duffy Spelman

I have gluten issues, would gluten free flour work or would corn starch be better

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

I think either would work Susan. I'm not very familiar with gluten free flour but as long as it will brown and help thicken the braise it will be fine. I have used cornstarch in similar recipes. Sure hope you enjoy

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3 months ago ATG117

Why does the editor's photo look so different from the original?

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3 months ago inpatskitchen

Well my photography skills are not very good...and the pros at Food52 sure know how to make a dish look good! This was a finalist in a Whole Foods Marketing Contest and their photo was beautiful as well. I'll take it!

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3 months ago Ruthie Selch

Could this be done in a slow cooker?

Dscn3274

3 months ago inpatskitchen

I'm sure you can Ruthie, but you probably should brown the chicken and sauté the vegetables a bit before adding to the slow cooker. My problem with slow cookers is that everything gets too "watery" and I find that I have to transfer the liquid to a pan and simmer down to thicken. Hope you try this though.