Chicken Cacciatore

Test Kitchen-Approved

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.

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

More Great Recipes:
Italian|Bacon|Chicken|Fennel|Oregano|Plum|Vegetable|Chicken Thigh|Make Ahead|Fall|Summer|Entree

Reviews (75) Questions (2)

75 Reviews

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!
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!
Gail S. October 16, 2014
Delicious recipe, I used boneless skinless chicken breasts but followed the rest of the recipe
Author Comment
inpatskitchen October 16, 2014
Thank you Gail!
Margaret M. October 13, 2014
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.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen October 14, 2014
Thanks Margaret! Love the olive addition!
Alina S. October 9, 2014
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.
Alina S. October 9, 2014
*breast ^^
Author Comment
inpatskitchen October 9, 2014
Thanks! I'll punt often too when I don't have exact ingredients. Your version sounds wonderful!
Jenny S. October 8, 2014
Served this tonight with polenta. The family raved about how good it was. They're all looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen October 9, 2014
Thanks! Leftovers are wonderful!