Classic Chicken Cacciatore

This Classic Chicken Cacciatore recipe is a timeless favorite that always makes its way to the dinner table. This flavorful one-pan meal is easy to prepare and perfect for the entire family. Fork-tender chicken thighs baked in a light, aromatic sauce made from crushed tomatoes, Italian soffritto (carrots, onions, and celery), olives, and mushrooms — it’s a rustic Italian dish you need to try.

Chicken cacciatore served family style

Chicken cacciatore is Italian comfort food at its best. It’s flavorful, rich, earthy, hearty, and easy to make in one pan.

The recipe starts by browning seasoned chicken thighs, then slowly braising them with various vegetables in a crushed tomato sauce infused with herbs, seasonings, and Kalamata olives. I’m not sure if the highlight of this dish is the rich sauce or the seasoned chicken, but pairing them together is a winning formula.

chicken cacciatore served with pasta

And the best part is you can customize the chicken cacciatore recipe to suit your family using different vegetables.

Chicken cacciatore ingredients:

chicken Cacciatore ingredients
  • You will need bone-in chicken thighs that you’ll season with paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dried parsley.
  • The sauce is what sets this recipe apart from the others. You’ll need red wine (I prefer to use a Bourbon Barreled Cabernet Sauvignon to enhance the flavor and balance the natural acidity of tomatoes), raw unfiltered honey, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, basil flakes, and fresh rosemary sprigs.
  • For the veggies and to complete the dish, you will need fresh baby bella mushrooms, pitted kalamata olives, red onion, carrots, and celery.
  • Pasta is all about preference, and I like pappardelle egg pasta with this dish.
Searing chicken thighs

How to make baked chicken cacciatore:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Clean and dry your chicken thighs. Season them evenly with paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dried parsley. (Lighty pat cooking oil onto the chicken, so the seasonings stick better.)
  3. Add the oil to a large deep cooking pan or Dutch oven (paid link) and sear the chicken thighs at high heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and set them to the side.
  4. Lower heat to medium, and in the same pan, add the chopped onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine, salt, pepper, cumin, basil flakes, and crushed tomatoes to the pot. Stir before adding pitted kalamata olives and fresh rosemary sprigs.
  6. Cover the pot, then bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the pappardelle pasta as instructed, strain, and serve, topping off with sauce, chicken thighs, then more sauce.

FAQs

Can I use boneless chicken breast for this recipe?:
Most definitely! If you would rather use chicken breast for this meal, cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise, and season the chicken with the same seasonings listed. Cook each chicken breast for 4 minutes per side before adding to the pot and covering the baking in the sauce for an adjusted time of 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

What should I serve with Chicken Cacciatore?:
Aside from pasta, which is how I go, white or brown rice is the most traditional side to serve with cacciatore. However, herb-roasted potatoes, buttery mashed potatoes, polenta (paid link), spaghetti squash, and zoodles are all great alternatives.

The Classic Chicken Cacciatore recipe is a one-pan dish that will quickly become a family favorite. The combination of fresh ingredients will have your taste buds dancing like a dancing machine. Get ready to enjoy a night of flavor with this classic Italian dish.

classic chicken cacciatore recipe

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Chicken cacciatore served family style

Classic Chicken Cacciatore


  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x

Description

Chicken Cacciatore is made with fork-tender chicken thighs baked in a light, aromatic sauce made from crushed tomatoes, Italian soffritto (carrots, onions, and celery), olives, and mushrooms.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. basil flakes
  • 28 oz crushed tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 4 whole rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Ensure chicken thighs are clean and dry, then season evenly with paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley. Lightly pat cooking oil onto the chicken so the seasonings can stick to the chicken better.
  3. Add oil to a large pan or Dutch oven (paid link). Sear chicken thighs at high heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from heat. The skin should be crispy and golden brown.
  4. Lower heat to medium heat. Add chopped onions, celery, and carrots to the same pan, cook for 5 minutes, then add minced garlic and mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add red wine, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, cumin, basil flakes, honey, and crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir before topping off with pitted kalamata olives and fresh rosemary sprigs.
  6. Cover the pot and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the pappardelle pasta as instructed. Pasta should be al dente.
  8. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Nutrition

  • Calories: 811
  • Sugar: 13.2g
  • Sodium: 1388mg
  • Fat: 55g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.2g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Protein: 56.8g
  • Cholesterol: 253mg

Keywords: Classic Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Cacciatore

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