Make Ahead

Chicken Cacciatore

July  8, 2012
12 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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.

This recipe is featured in the story, 14 Cozy, Tomatoey Braises to Warm Your Stove Now Through March, sponsored by Muir Glen. —The Editors

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • 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
  • 1 (14 to 15-ounce) can whole peeled 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
In This Recipe
  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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ashvini
  • SophieL
  • Cheryl Alderson
    Cheryl Alderson
  • Laura L. Manskar-Gannon
    Laura L. Manskar-Gannon
  • Essentialchef

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

85 Reviews

Ashvini January 8, 2021
Loved this! Followed the recipe but added 1.5x the amount of dried herbs and salt and it was gorgeous. Will definitely be making again ❤️
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 8, 2021
Happy Happy that you loved this. It's a great weeknight meal (and company even likes it) Thank You!!
SophieL August 9, 2020
Excellent dish! So flavorful. I didn't have tomato sauce but I did have a partial can of tomato paste, so I added enough white wine to make 8 ounces. Definitely a keeper!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen August 9, 2020
Thank you Sophie! The wine addition sounds wonderful (something to try next time I make this)!
Karen O. March 27, 2020
The flavor in the dish is out of this world. Best to get everything organized and ready to go so you don’t miss an ingredient by mistake. Made this for dinner guests and they raved. One of my family’s favorite. Goes great with white rice and steamed zucchini or cauliflower. If there is sauce leftover, I add Zucchini and serve as vegetable side dish.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen March 27, 2020
Thanks so much Karen! It ends to be in our monthly rotation. Stay safe!!
PamSanFran August 24, 2019
Anyone tried without the bacon?
Author Comment
inpatskitchen August 25, 2019
Hi Pam! I rarely have bacon on hand and make it without all the time. Sure hope you enjoy!
Cheryl A. December 7, 2018
Making this right now! Me and my boyfriend have made your recipe for Chicken Cacciatore often over the past couple years. We usually double it so we can have leftovers for a couple days. Sometimes we add a bit of balsamic vinegar to the sauce for a bit of richness and depth. Thank you for the recipe Pat!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen December 7, 2018
Thanks so much Cheryl! It's pretty much a regular on our dinner rotation too! The balsamic sounds like something I must try soon!
Cheryl A. September 15, 2019
Making this dish again tonight! Starting to feel like fall again and this is the perfect dinner to welcome the new season. Thanks Pat!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen September 15, 2019
Thanks again Cheryl! know what you mean about fall. I made meatball soup the other day!
Gardener&Cook December 7, 2018
This was very good. Used 2 whole chicken legs. Anticipate delicious leftovers with fresh pasta.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen December 7, 2018
Thank you! You made my day!!!
Mihaela L. November 26, 2018
Delicious. I used a mix of bone in chicken breast and thighs because my husband doesn't like the dark meat and I served it on polenta.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen November 26, 2018
Thank you Mihaela! You made my morning!
Laura L. July 17, 2018
Chicken dinner on steriods! My husband asked what we are having for dinner and I said "chicken". I got the eye roll (we eat lots of poultry. Well! hubby loved it and said makes this again PLEASE! Followed the recipe to the T - so fresh! Loved it, I did add some summer tomatoes to the sauce, nice slices. It will be on my "rotation".
Author Comment
inpatskitchen July 17, 2018
Oh...thanks so much Laura! This is one of our favorite one pot meals. Your addition of fresh tomatoes puts it over the top!!
Diane December 30, 2016
We had guests for dinner and I made this and really enjoyed it. For the most part I followed the recipes, only making some minor changes. I added some extra chicken (4 chicken drumstick) and 1/4 cup white wine. I cooked one pound of spaghetti to serve with it, but it was too much. Not enough sauce for that much pasta. If the sauce was doubled that would work for this much pasta. Nice recipe with very good flavour. I will make it again.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 4, 2017
Thanks so much Diane!!
Diane February 11, 2019
I have made this recipe many times and really enjoy it each time. Last night I made it again and as before doubled the chicken by adding 4 drumstick. I did not increase the sauce portion. I served over linguine (cooked a 375 gram package dried linguine). This time, instead of finishing cooking the chicken on the stovetop I cooked it in the oven @ 350 for approximately 40 min (with the lid on partially covered). Once again it was delicious 😋. There was enough sauce for this portion of pasta. Not sure why the last time I commented I said more sauce was needed.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen February 11, 2019
I'm so happy you've been enjoying this...Thanks so much!!
georgina April 30, 2016
I made this for dinner last night (served over polenta) and it was delicious! I tried doubling the recipe because I wanted to feed 4 people and have leftovers, but my dutch oven couldn't hold all the sauce. Next time I'll just use 8 thighs but keep the rest of the recipe as is. I'd also kick up the heat a bit :) Great recipe!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen April 30, 2016
Thanks so much georgina! This is one of our favorites and if it's just the two us I kick up the heat too...
Essentialchef September 21, 2015
whenever you start a protein in the pan and then use that fat and moisture to flavor the rest of the dish, you get great flavor. It's making my own version of this where Ive learned how important when you add something or start something is just as important as the actual ingredient.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen September 21, 2015
So true!
PAM September 21, 2015
Every recipe chicken cacciatore I've made has had wine in it. This recipe has such good reviews, I'm wondering how wine would affect it. Any thoughts?
Author Comment
inpatskitchen September 21, 2015
I think a little red wine would be wonderful...maybe just sub it for the chicken broth?
Transcendancing July 7, 2015
This worked out beautifully - made as instructed, gorgeous! Served with buttered parmesan rice that was super fluffy and complimented the chicken well.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen July 7, 2015
Thanks! I'm so happy you enjoyed!
Sixblade K. May 8, 2015
Excellent, Excellent dish. Made as instructed. Loved it
Author Comment
inpatskitchen May 8, 2015
Thanks Sixblade!! It's one of our favorite meals!
Juliebell March 1, 2015
This was dinner tonight with a side of spaghetti squash and my Sicilian husband says Bravo! Loved it and we have left overs for Tues. Thanks Pat for a lovely recipe that we will repeat.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen March 2, 2015
Thanks so much Juliebell! We actually had this for dinner on Saturday. So happy you both enjoyed!
kate H. February 11, 2015
So delicious but no surprise - Food52 recipes have never disappointed. Great flavor,incredibly easy to put together. Served over polenta. Leftovers even tastier.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen February 11, 2015
Thanks kate!!
Arrxx January 19, 2015
If you have a left over rind from some parmesan cheese add it to the braise. It give an incredible umami hit. Just fish it out before you serve. A great addition to minestrone as well. I keep them in the freezer for months.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 19, 2015
Great idea Arrxx! I use them in slow cooked tomato and pasta sauces...never thought to use them here but I sure will now!
Betsy420 January 19, 2015
This dish is fantastic. I have made it twice. My friends love it. I always double it so I can make tv dinners. It freezes well.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 19, 2015
Thanks so much Betsy! I'm so happy you're enjoying this!
SophieL January 16, 2015
Delicious dish. Made it with leftover rotisserie chicken, which I added 15 minutes into the simmer step. Didn't have fresh oregano, so subbed 1 Tbs. fresh thyme. Served over pasta. Turned out great!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 16, 2015
Thanks Sophie! I'm so happy you enjoyed...and over pasta is my favorite way to go!
Debbie January 10, 2015
Have made this twice and enjoyed it both times, always tastes better the second day. One of the best things about this recipe is that if you don't have an ingredient on hand, that's okay, this is a very forgiving recipe.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 11, 2015
Thank you Debbie! It really IS forgiving!