A traditional Italian stew does not need to be complicated — this Easy Chicken Cacciatore is a perfect example! Deliciously moist and flavorful chicken in every bite, and no fussy preparation either!
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The very first Italian dish that I learned to cook.
Yep, it’s not Bolognese sauce; it’s traditional chicken cacciatore — from my mother-in-law in Emilia-Romagna.
Up to this day, it’s one of my favorite quick chicken dinners to prepare in Stockholm. I always serve it with some crusty bread and a glass of wine (of course!).
Or, sometimes, when I want to keep the regional theme, I serve it piadina instead — also known as the Italian flatbread.
IF YOU WANT MORE TRADITIONAL ITALIAN RECIPES, THEN YOU WILL LOVE THESE POSTS!
- Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil, if possible.
- Chicken – chopped, and with skin on.
- Garlic – minced or roughly chopped.
- White wine – any dry white wine will be great with this traditional chicken cacciatore recipe.
- Tomatoes – as you can see above, I used cherry tomatoes in this recipe, because they were in season.
- Bay leaves – two or three pieces of dried bay leaves would be good.
- Seasoning – peperoncino, salt and ground pepper.
Start by seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper (photo 1).
Using a medium or large skillet or roasting pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken to start browning them, making sure not to over-crowd the pan (photo 2).
Lower heat to medium and put all the browned chicken back in the pan. Add garlic and mix.
Once the garlic becomes fragrant, adjust the heat back to medium-high and pour the white wine (photo 3).
Let the wine evaporate, and then mix the chicken and garlic, making sure you remove any bits stuck in the bottom of the pan.
Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, peperoncino, and bay leaves. Mix to combine (photo 4).
Cover with a lid, bring to a boil and mix.
Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until your chicken cacciatore is cooked. Mix occasionally and adjust seasoning, as desired.
- If you are using a medium-sized pan, brown the chicken in batches. Leave some space in between each piece.
- Do not skip the browning of the chicken; it gives more depth to the flavor of the finished chicken cacciatore.
- If you want to add some herb, feel free to garnish it with fresh parsley leaves.
- Other tomatoes. You can use any type of tomato. The juicier they are, the better it is for this cacciatore recipe.
- Chicken broth. You can use this as an alternative to white wine — if you have to.
However, even if you let the broth completely evaporate, you will never get the same sauce’s texture when you use white wine.
I don’t recommend it.
It is one of those recipes where you need to keep the bones. It helps in making the meat moist as well as provide more flavor.
Not really, because this classic chicken cacciatore is cook (entirely) on the stovetop.
However, after seeing how my mother-in-law prepares rabbit cacciatore, I decided to do precisely the same thing for my chicken cacciatore.
I place the pan in the broiler (oven) for the last 10 to 15 minutes — and it gives it a deeper color and a bit more crunch on the chicken’s skin. Yum!
Give it a try this week and let me know! 🙂
Easy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
- 1 kg chicken (about 2 lbs), chopped and rinsed
- 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 & 1/2 to 2 cups tomatoes, chopped roughly
- 2 to 3 pcs dried bay leaves
- salt and pepper, for seasoning
- dash peperoncino
- parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place a medium or large pan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
- Once olive oil is ready, start browning the chicken. Leave some space in between the pieces of the chicken; browning in batches is ok.
- Place all the browned chicken back into the pan, lower the heat to medium, add garlic and mix.
- Once the garlic is fragrant, turn the heat up to medium-high and pour the white wine.
- Let the wine completely evaporate and mix while scraping bits that stuck at the bottom of the pan.
- Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, peperoncino, and bay leaves. Mix to combine.
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Adjust heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is cooked. Mix periodically.
- Serve, with fresh parsley as a garnish, if preferred.
- Cook’s Tip #1: Best to use chicken with bones. It makes the dish more flavorsome and keeps the meat moist.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Do not overcrowd the chicken when browning them.
- Cook’s Tip #3: You can substitute chicken broth for white wine but expect a slightly different texture on the sauce.
- Cook’s Tip #4: Stick to fresh tomatoes as much as possible.
- Cook’s Tip#5: When you intend to place the chicken in the oven for the last 10-15 minutes, make sure you are using an oven-proof skillet or pan.
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