Chicken Cacciatore is one of the simplest and most delicious Italian dishes. The name means “hunter’s stew”. This is Italian comfort food at its best. I like to make this recipe with a combination of boneless chicken thighs and breast meat in a 1:1 ratio, all cut into bite-sized bits and seared quickly in olive oil. The reason for using different parts of the chicken is that thighs provide softer texture and extra fat, and breast meat is firm and often favored by people. In my opinion, the mixture of two is truly perfect in a stew.
The incredible flavor of this dish comes from the sauce. I suggest starting the sauce by sautéing onions until they are soft and glistening. Only then, removing them from the pan and sautéing mushrooms (separately from the onions) until their edges are browned. I find that this method adds the most flavor. Furthermore, I would not recommend sautéing onions and mushrooms together; they have different needs and timing. After that, the sauce can be assembled and poured over the meat. The cooking should continue on a small flame, covered with a lid.
I never serve Chicken Cacciatore with pasta. I do not think this particular dish pairs well with it. My preference is rice or polenta.
In case you are looking for more Italian inspired chicken recipes, here is my Chicken Marsala
- Prepare 1 lb (0.45 kg) of boneless skinless chicken thighs and 1 lb (0.45 kg) of skinless chicken breast meat. In a large sauté pan with a lid, add 1tbsp olive oil. Turn up the heat to high, add chicken, and sauté it until no longer pink. Set aside.
- Thinly slice the onion. Set aside. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Set aside. Slice the olives. Set aside. Crush the dried mushrooms. Set aside. Finely chop the parsley. Set aside
- Using the pan from the chicken, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and all the onion slices. Lower the heat and sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Set aside.
- In the same pan, add one more tbsp of olive oil and fresh mushroom slices. Turn up the heat to high. Sauté until all the liquid evaporates and the edges og mushrooms become brown.
- Add onions, garlic, sugar, tomato sauce, crushed dried mushrooms. Stir and top with the meat. Mix well. Lower the heat, cover with the lid and cook for about 15 min. Add olives and continue cooking for at least 10 more minutes.
- When the stew is ready, let it cool a little, adjust seasoning, and top it with fresh parsley.