What is Chicken Cacciatore? Chicken cacciatore is an Italian braised chicken dish. “Cacciatore” is Italian for “hunter”. Chicken cacciatore usually consists of chicken, tomatoes, and some herbs, and possibly some other liquids (such as wine). Onions, and garlic can also be used if desired. I did not know what chicken cacciatore was until after I made this dish. I was able to put a name to it after making it a couple of times.
About the chicken:
Chicken legs, or thighs tend to work better than chicken breasts. The dark meat has more connective tissue, and holds up better to the braising. White meat will tend to dry out. I like to use skinless chicken because the chicken skin tends to get rubbery.
You can make chicken cacciatore with skin-on chicken, but a few steps will be different. You should first sear the chicken skin in a hot pan, to get it crispy, and then when you add the chicken back to the braising liquid, try to ensure the skin isn’t submerged.
About the vegetables:
By using yellow and orange bell peppers the dish contains many of the colours of Fall, and is a beautiful dish, with the reds, yellows, and oranges coming through.
You can easily adapt this dish to your own tastes, and what you have available in your pantry and fridge. Once you have the basics down, you can use whatever herbs and spices you have available, and enjoy.
If you serve this dish in a bowl, rather than over rice, it is low carb/keto diet friendly. If you are cooking for a family that isn’t all on a keto diet, you can serve this dish over rice for the non-dieters, and without the rice for the people on a keto style diet. It makes meal planning easier, and there is no need to cook separate dishes for everyone.
This is an easy one pot dish, which is a bouquet of colours, flavours, and aromas.
See here for other fall based seasonal meal ideas.
Fall Chicken Cacciatore
An easy one pot dish, which is a bouquet of colours, flavours, and aromas.
Prepare the tomatoes
If using whole tomatoes, pour the can into a large work bowl.
Crush the tomatoes by hand, so there are no full tomatoes, but they are still chunky. I like the tomatoes to remain chunky, but you can crush them as finally as you wish, depending on your tastes.
Preparing the braising liquid
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
With all of the ingredients prepared, heat a large pot (with a cover) over medium heat.
Add the oil to the hot pan, and once it is shimmering, add the diced peppers.
Sauté the peppers, stirring frequently until the peppers have started to brown slightly, and have begun to soften. Maybe 5 or 6 minutes.
Add the minced garlic, and stir until fragrant. This shouldn't take more than a minute. Don't let the garlic burn.
Add the basil, tarragon, ground black pepper, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Add the crushed tomatoes, and stir together. Once combined, cover, and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, add the chicken thighs. You may need to stir the pot to submerge the chicken, and some of them may remain exposed. This isn't a problem.
Sprinkle the parsley over the mixture in the pot.
Braising the chicken
Cover the pot, and put it in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the lid, and stir the contents, trying to submerge any previously un-submerged chicken. Put the pot back in the oven for 25 minutes uncovered.
Check the temperature of the chicken. The chicken is ready when the temperature is between 170°F and 180°F depending on the texture you prefer. If you are unsure, just aim for 175°F. Once this temperature is reached, the chicken is ready to serve.
The chicken can be served in a bowl, like a stew, or over rice.
This dish is great if you are cooking for a some low carb/keto dieters, and non-dieters. The people following the low carb meal plan can eat the chicken cacciatore by itself, while the non-dieters can have the dish over rice or potatoes. No need to cook multiple meals!