Chicken Cacciatore

November 26, 2021
21 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 4 servings
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, 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. Whenever the temperatures start to drop, or if it's too cold to venture outside, you'll turn to this chicken recipe again and again. "Cacciatore" in Italian actually means "hunter," so this is essentially a hunger-style sauce that features whole peeled tomatoes, tomato sauce, bacon, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. It's a great way to use up whatever produce you've got in your fridge or pantry. Fresh basil and oregano give a pop of brightness and color, but you can use whatever fresh, mild herbs you have too. And instead of bacon, you could use prosciutto or pancetta. Serving over pasta or polenta means that this recipe is the epitome of comfort food goodness. While the chicken is braising, cook the pasta or polenta in another large pot, like this one that has a built-in colander, which is super-convenient. Both will be ready at the same time, and you'll walk away from the meal completely satisfied and satiated.

The best part is all you need is a large skillet with a lid to cook the chicken and sauce, which makes cleanup a breeze. We like this beautiful green nonstick pan, which is a great size, and it can also go in the oven. It takes just about 30 minutes to simmer on the stove, after braising the chicken in seasoned flour, which is great since you don't ever have to turn your oven on.

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

What You'll Need
  • Olive oil, for the skillet
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 4 ounces white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 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
  • Cooked pasta or soft polenta, for serving
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving
  1. Coat a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid with the oil, going up the sides of the pan about ¼ inch, and heat over medium-high. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Drain the oil from the skillet. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until almost crisp. Add the onion, green and red bell peppers, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened.
  3. Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, salt, fennel, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook, stirring, for about 2 more minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth and stir to combine.
  5. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring to a simmer and cook partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. Stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce over the pasta or polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Katie Thompson
    Katie Thompson
  • Ashvini
  • SophieL
  • Cheryl Alderson
    Cheryl Alderson
  • Laura L. Manskar-Gannon
    Laura L. Manskar-Gannon

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!

89 Reviews

Food52 February 19, 2023
This recipe is incredible. I omit bacon and flour, and add white wine and balsamic vinegar. I also use whole fennel seeds and it always tastes amazing. Small thighs work best for me
Katie T. July 11, 2022
This recipe was a big hit for everyone! I ended up serving with rice to use up the chicken broth and cut the size of the veggies down just to make everything fit in one pot.

Will absolutely be making this again and probably next time in a dutch oven so I have enough room...
Skillians June 21, 2022
I make this recipe monthly. If we have leftover hot sausage I throw that in, too. I save the leftover sauce, veggies and rice for lunch throughout the week. ❤️❤️❤️
Beth L. March 9, 2022
I needed a bigger boat! Only used half the chicken broth, because some members of my family like things thick, but when I added the chicken back, we were starting to overflow the skillet. Transferred everything to a dutch oven, and it worked out perfect. Delicious!
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 ❤️
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!
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.
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?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
inpatskitchen July 7, 2015
Thanks! I'm so happy you enjoyed!
Sixblade K. May 8, 2015
Excellent, Excellent dish. Made as instructed. Loved it
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.
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.
inpatskitchen February 11, 2015
Thanks kate!!