I’ve mentioned my dad before when talking about foods that I grew up loving. He actually didn’t cook all that often, but when he did it was always a deliciously big deal, usually involving the Dutch oven. Pretty much all of my happy food memories from my childhood come from my dad–Dutch oven cinnamon rolls, omelets, oatmeal on cold winter mornings, the best scrambled eggs in the world, chicken cacciatore.

plated chicken cacciatore 
Chicken cacciatore is one of my earliest food memories (that and pimiento cheese spread; chicken cacciatore is a lot better!) I must’ve been younger than 6 because I remember eating it in our house before it was remodeled when I was in Kindergarten. That first time, it was actually Pheasant Cacciatore because I also remember my brother chasing me around the house with a severed pheasant foot, pulling on the tendon to make the claw move. We had a special relationship.
 
As I got older, I ate it less and less frequently and kind of forgot about it until after my husband and I got married. I discovered an old recipe and tried it out for him one night and he agreed–it was one of the best things he’d ever eaten. After some considerable tweaking on my part, I got the recipe just the way I wanted it (read: easier!) and now you get to have it. Just leave the severed poultry feet alone. Serve this for the family, serve it for company, serve it for a fancy or romantic meal–this is the little black dress of the pasta world, loved by everyone who’s tried it. I’ve caught people literally licking the plate on more than one occasion. It’s that kind of meal.
 
Start by chopping an onion, smashing a few cloves of garlic, and sautéing it all in some olive oil.
 
satueed onion and garlic 

Remove that mixture and place it in your blender or food processor. Place some flour and salt and pepper in a Ziploc bag and add some cubed chicken.

Seasoning chicken

Zip the bag shut and shake well until the chicken pieces are coated in the seasoned flour.

seasoned chicken cubes

 

Add chicken to pan and cook until golden.

golden brown chicken

Remove from pan and set on a paper towel.

chicken cacciatore on paper towel

Add chicken broth, wine (or apple juice), tomato paste, thyme, and marjoram to the onions and garlic in the blender or food processor and blend it until smooth.

blended chicken cacciatore sauce

Place chicken in a slow-cooker and top with a bay leaf.

Pour that delicious sauce right over it.

pouring sauce over chicken

Cook on low for a few hours. When you have about 1/2 hour to go, add the mushrooms and the chopped green pepper.

adding mushrooms and peppers to sauce

When it’s all done serve over your favorite pasta with a little parmesan and fresh herbs if you feel like it. 

plated chicken cacciatore

Y’all. I could drink this sauce.

Twirled pasta on fork

 

 
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Twirled pasta on fork

Chicken Cacciatore

  • Author: kate jones
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description



Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a combination of the two), trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 56 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed*
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine (or 1 cup apple or white grape juice mixed with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

Instructions

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onions and garlic and stir frequently until onions are tender and garlic is fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon (this is why you need to keep the onion and garlic pieces big), shake off excess oil (you don’t have to go crazy here, a little olive oil never killed anyone!), and transfer to your blender. Increase heat to medium-high.

In a large Ziploc bag, combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Add chicken pieces, seal bag, and shake to coat pieces with flour. Dump the entire bag into the hot pan and stir quickly to prevent pieces from sticking together. Saute until chicken is golden. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Turn off the heat under the oil.

While the chicken is draining, add wine, chicken broth, tomato paste, thyme, and marjoram to the onions and garlic in the blender. Blend until smooth. Place chicken and bay leaf in your slow cooker and then pour the sauce over the chicken. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 3.5-4 hours. When you have about 1/2 hour to go, add the mushrooms and the chopped green pepper. Cook until mushrooms and pepper are tender. Remove bay leaf and serve over pasta.


Notes

*The easiest way to use garlic in this dish is to remove the cloves from the head and then smash them with a meat mallet. Remove the skins and then sauté the whole, smashed garlic clove.

FREEZER MEAL INSTRUCTIONS:

Complete steps through browning the chicken. Instead of placing chicken in your slow cooker, place it in a freezer-safe container and cover with sauce. When ready to eat, place frozen mixture in your slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours. You can either cut the mushrooms and peppers ahead of time and freeze them separately from the chicken and sauce or you can just plan to have those in your fridge when you’re ready to make this.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS

FREEZER MEAL INSTRUCTIONS:

Complete steps through browning the chicken. Instead of placing chicken in your slow cooker, place it in a heavy pot or Dutch oven, top with sauce, and simmer for about 1 hour (add the mushrooms and peppers in the last 20 minutes).

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS:

FREEZER MEAL INSTRUCTIONS:

Complete steps through browning the chicken, except brown it in your Instant Pot instead of on the stovetop. After draining, return the chicken to the Instant Pot, top with sauce, add the mushrooms and peppers immediately, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. 



Nutrition

  • Calories: 365kcal
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 686mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Cholesterol: 57mg

64 comments

  1. LOVE this dinner! It was great to have in my freezer when we had a little baby in the house. For some reason though, the pictures of yours look a lot better than mine did. Maybe I need to work on my presentation!

  2. We’re going to make this tonight! I’m excited. Oh, and maybe we’d try to white wine just for you, except I’d rather not make two trips. One to the grocery store and one to the liquor store, lol 🙂

    Kara M.

  3. Yum!! And I agree about tasting better with wine. I just started cooking with wine a few years ago, and will never be able to go back now ( : It just adds so much more richness and depth of flavor. My little black dress meal would be. . . maybe BLT pasta. I’ll probably have a different answer in 10 more minutes ( :

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