Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore is a hearty, satisfying and delicious meal. It is easy to make, but at the same time it has a rich complexity of flavor. Surprisingly, it only takes about an hour to whip up even though it tastes like a dish that you cooked all day long. The sauce is a fantastic mix of crushed tomatoes, lots of sliced onions, sweet bell peppers and red pepper flakes. Add in the brininess of the olives and capers, and you have virtual symphony of taste!

We like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs to prepare our cacciatore. The dark meat is moistier and juicier then chicken breast, therefore it will hold for a long time. (Which is helpful if you want to make it in advance or have dinner guests who are running late.)

What does Cacciatore mean?

Cacciatore means “hunter style” in Italian. More specifically in Italian cuisine, alla cacciatora, refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with olives, herbs, tomatoes and bell peppers. There are several regional variations of Chicken Cacciatore. Depending on where you eat this dish when you are in Italy, it may also contain mushrooms, red wine or white wine.

Chicken Cacciatore is a very versatile dish. It can be served at a romantic date night dinner for two, but is a good crowd pleaser as well. This is also a great recipe to double or triple and freeze in portions. It is the perfect dish to pull out for last minute company or on a night when you just don’t have the time or energy to make a meal from scratch. Add any leftover sauce to pasta and it will make a great lunch or side dish the next day.

What should you serve with Chicken Cacciatore?

Your choice of dishes to accompany this dinner is almost limitless. The dish does beg for a starch to soak up the fantastic sauce. Pasta and rice are both common sides, but surprisingly mashed potatoes are served with this dish in many places as well. A green salad or Caesar salad will balance out your meal, but of course some fresh Italian bread will help to complete this hearty dinner.

Chicken Cacciatore

5 from 35 votes
Recipe by Margaret Sanfelippo Course: Main DishCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


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Chicken Cacciatore is a delicious dish of braised chicken in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, red pepper flakes, olives and capers!


  • 8 8 chicken thighs, bone-in

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 flour, for dredging the chicken

  • 2 tsp 2 salt

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 ground black pepper

  • 3 tbsp 3 olive oil

  • 1 1 medium onion, sliced

  • 1 1 medium bell pepper, sliced

  • 2 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 red pepper flakes

  • 1 tbsp 1 tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 red wine

  • 28 oz 28 crushed tomatoes (I use a box of Pomi tomatoes)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 chicken broth

  • 1 tsp 1 dried oregano

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 green olives

  • 2 tbsp 2 capers

  • 1 tbsp 1 parsley, chopped


  • Spread the flour in a shallow bowl. Season the chicken thighs with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper. Next dredge the chicken in the flour (tapping off any excess). Set on a clean plate until ready to cook them.
  • Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a heavy cast iron pot over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down. Brown it and turn it over to brown the other side. (It should take 3-4 minutes per side.) Remove from the pot and set aside.
  • Turn the heat down to medium high. Add the sliced onions and peppers to the pot. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Sauté until the onions are transparent and the peppers have softened, about 3-4 minutes.  Now add the garlic and the tomato paste. Stir to incorporate into the onions and peppers.
  • Pour in the red wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the wine is reduced, about 2 minutes. Then add the crushed tomatoes. Slosh 1/2 cup water in the tomato container to rinse it clean, and stir that in along with the chicken broth, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oregano.
  • Add the chicken back into the sauce. Make sure the chicken is covered completely by the sauce. Place the lid on the pot, leaving it cracked open on one side. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat for 20 minutes (while stirring occasionally).
  • Add the olives and capers, allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

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