This one-pan Chicken Cacciatore is a delicious, comforting Italian chicken dish, that makes a great family meal any day of the week!
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One-Pan Chicken Cacciatore
I love recipes that can be prepared and cooked in one pan – mainly because it saves on the washing up. We are old-school in this house, as we don’t have a dishwasher! A shock I know, but we don’t have room for one in our current kitchen design… maybe one day we will actually update and renovate our kitchen so we can finally have a dishwasher!
But back to one pan cooking – whether that pan be a skillet, frying pan, sauce pan, sheet pan, pressure cooker, slow cooker, or instant pot – it is something I get on board with. It’s great to just either throw everything in and leave it to cook, or cooking each step in the same pan. Bonus points when it can be served from said pan too.
What is Cacciatore?
Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with ingredients such as onions, garlic, herbs, and tomatoes. It can be made with chicken or rabbit.
What cut of chicken should I use in cacciatore?
Ideally, you will want to use meat that still has the bone in as that is the source of all the flavor – I like using chicken thighs and drumsticks in chicken cacciatore, as they are relatively cheap cuts. You could use chicken breast if you prefer, or you could joint a whole chicken and use all the different parts. It’s up to you if you want to keep the skin on or off in this recipe. The chicken is gently fried in olive oil before being cooked fully with all the other ingredients.
How do you make one-pan chicken cacciatore?
It is really quite simple to make chicken cacciatore in one pan. You just brown the chicken off in a large frying pan or skillet and remove the meat while you fry off garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Stock or wine is then added, and reduced, before adding small whole onions, canned chopped tomatoes, and herbs. Finally, the chicken goes back in and everything is left to bubble away until the chicken is cooked through.
A quick word about small onions!
This recipe uses small whole onions – or pearl onions as you may know them. If you can buy frozen pearl onions, then totally use those as they will save you time as you won’t have to peel them.
However, I have found that sourcing them frozen in the UK is a bit tricky – I’ve seen them on Ocado – but not in any of the other big supermarkets. I have heard that you might find them in ethnic supermarkets, so it’s worth a look if you have one near to you.
Alternatively, you can buy small onions – which might be called pearl onions or pickling onions – and peel them by hand. This might be fiddly! So a top tip is to trim the root ends, then blanch the onions in boiling water for 30 seconds. Plunge into iced water to stop the cooking process, and you should be able to pinch the top end and the onion will pop out from its skin.
And if you really can’t find them, just chop up an onion and use that!
Can I make chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker?
The slow cooker is one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment, and I would say that most things you can cook on the stovetop can be cooked in a slow cooker. I would recommend that you brown the meat first, as instructed in this recipe, and then add in all the other ingredients (apart from the olives and fresh herbs). Stir to combine and then cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Slow cooking will mean that the chicken will fall from the bone, so be mindful of that when serving up.
What about the instant pot? I haven’t jumped on the instant pot bandwagon I’m afraid, so I can’t say how you would go about cooking chicken cacciatore in this way. I’m sure it can be done, I would imagine you need to know how long to cook the chicken for – but that’s only best guess as I have an old fashioned pressure cooker that I pretty much only use to make chicken soup!
What do you serve with chicken cacciatore with?
You can enjoy this chicken stew with side dishes like:
- potatoes – sautéed, roasted, mashed
- pasta – orzo, tagliatelle, spaghetti
- rice or risotto
- sautéed vegetables like spinach, greens, broccolini, cavolo nero, kale, green beans
- cannellini beans – whole, or mashed
- 8 chicken drumsticks and thighs (bone-in, skin-on/off, optional)
- salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8oz/225g sliced mushrooms
- 1 large yellow or green bell pepper
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock/broth
- 28oz/800g canned diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1½ cups/200g small whole onions*
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 12 pitted Kalamata olives
- fresh basil or flat leaf parsley
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces lightly with salt and black pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet/frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until just browned on both sides. Remove from pan.
- Add the mushrooms, peppers, carrots, and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook for 4 minutes, then pour in the wine or stock. Simmer uncovered until liquid is nearly evaporated.
- Stir in tomatoes, onions, oregano and black pepper.
- Return the chicken to the pan.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer, covered for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with more salt if needed.
- Scatter olives and sprinkle the fresh herbs over the dish before serving.
*buy frozen pearl onions if you can find them. Alternatively, you will have to hold onto your tears and peel your own!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 772Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 353mgSodium: 902mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 70g