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Chicken Cacciatore

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Calories: 567
homemade chicken cacciatore recipe in a while pot with olives and tomatoes.

Chicken thighs get meltingly tender thanks to a simmer in tomatoes, red wine, garlic and olives in this classic Italian chicken cacciatore recipe.

A Classic, Hearty Chicken Cacciatore

Break out your red checkered tablecloth, light some drippy candles and pour some good red wine—it’s time to feast like you’re at your favorite Italian restaurant (except you’ll be even more comfortable, because you’re at home). Shallots, garlic, red wine, tomatoes, olives and peppers swirl together to make an ultra-savory braising liquid for tender chicken thighs in this classic Italian dish. It’s a winter (or fall) warmer that we grew up eating and never get tired of. Grab some crusty bread to sop up all of those gorgeous juices, and let’s get cooking.

ingredients for homemade chicken cacciatore, bone-in chicken thighs, crushed tomatoes, black olives, sliced mushrooms, garlic

What Is Chicken Cacciatore?

And what does cacciatore mean? Chicken cacciatore originated in Italy, and is called chicken alla cacciatora, meaning “hunter’s-style chicken”. Marcella Hazan—we always, always turn to Marcella when we need to know the history of an Italian recipe—writes that because “there has always been a hunter in nearly every Italian household, every Italian cook prepares a dish with a claim to that description” chicken cacciatore can be prepared in a number of ways. But, it always involves tomatoes, onions, and other vegetables. Check, check and check! Sounds like even Marcella would consider our version of chicken cacciatore to be authentic, and that’s good enough for us.

bone in skin on chicken thighs on parchment paper next to a plate of flour for chicken cacciatore
browned chicken thighs in a braiser
thinly slice shallots and bell peppers with mushrooms and garlic in a braiser pan
thinly slice shallots and bell peppers with mushrooms and garlic in a braiser pan with red wine and broth

The Ingredients You’ll Need To Make The Very Best Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

You’ll notice that we’ve listed some of these ingredients as optional. In line with the Marcella Hazan quote above, this is a forgiving dish that’s meant to be made however *you* want to make it. Make it your own! Mold it to suit the tastes of your home. There’s no wrong way. What could be more inviting than that? Here’s everything you’ll need to make chicken cacciatore:

  • Chicken thighs. We’re calling for bone-in, skin-on thighs for this recipe.
  • Red bell pepper
  • Shallots
  • Crimini mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock
  • Red wine. We like to use something light, like Pinot Noir.
  • Italian seasoning
  • Canned crushed tomatoes

As for those optional ingredients we mentioned, they are:

  • Black olives, optional
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh basil
  • Parmesan
  • Flour
homemade chicken cacciatore in a braiser
the best chicken cacciatore in a braiser  with shallots and bell peppers
Chicken Cacciatore 9
the best chicken cacciatore in a braiser with shallots, olives and bell peppers

How to Make Chicken Cacciatore

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. *Optional step!* Dredge the chicken in flour.
  3. Brown the chicken to get a nice crisp on the skin, and set it aside.
  4. Sauté the bell pepper, shallots and mushrooms for a bit, then add the garlic.
  5. Pour in the stock, wine and Italian herbs. Add the chicken, and bring the whole thing to a good simmer. Reduce the liquid by about half.
  6. In go the tomatoes and olives. Simmer the whole pot until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
  7. *Optional step!* Top with fresh basil and optional parmesan before serving.
  8. *Not-optional step!* Mangia! That means eat up!
the best chicken cacciatore in a braiser with shallots, olives, bell peppers, basil and parmesan

What to Serve With Chicken Cacciatore

Clearly, this is a hearty meal as-it, maybe served with just a basic green salad. But if you’re serving it to company—or just to a household with big appetites—you’ll want to add a few sides. Here are a few things we love to serve with chicken cacciatore:

the best chicken cacciatore in a braiser with shallots, olives, bell peppers, basil and parmesan
the best chicken cacciatore in a braiser with shallots, olives, bell peppers, basil and parmesan

An Easy Chicken Cacciatore That’s Classic As Can Be

And sometimes—actually, pretty often—that’s what we want dinner to be. You, too? Well, try our cacciatore recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Chicken Cacciatore

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Calories: 567

Ingredients

  • 6 Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, fat edges trimmed off
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup Flour (optional)
  • 1 Red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 Shallots, ½” sliced
  • 8 oz Crimini mushrooms, ends removed, sliced
  • 6 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced or roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Chicken stock
  • 1 cup Red wine (like pinot noir)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (14 oz) can Crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can Black olives, drained, optional
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes, optional
  • Fresh basil, optional
  • Parmesan, optional

Method

  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Season it with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Heat the oil in a braiser pan set over medium-high heat.
  3. Place the flour on a plate. Gently dredge the chicken in the flour on both sides. This is optional. If you skip this step, the chicken will brown a little less quickly and the sauce will be slightly less thick.
  4. Place the chicken into the hot oil skin side down for 5 minutes, without disturbing (adjust heat if browning too quickly) flip and repeat on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan onto a plate.
  5. Toss the bell pepper, shallots and mushrooms into the pan and sauté for 4 minutes until the onions begin to soften, add the garlic for the last minute or two of this step.
  6. Add the chicken stock, wine, Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 7 minutes.
  7. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and olives (if using) and simmer for 20-25 minutes longer until sauce has thickened and the internal temperature of the chicken thighs registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
  8. Top with fresh basil and optional parmesan for serving.