Nothing says classic Italian comfort food like a steaming bowl of Chicken Cacciatore over warm pasta, dusted with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Every Italian cook has their own version of this classic chicken dish. It’s savory, falling off the bone delicious and oh-so-easy to prepare. Plus, your house will smell fantastic while it cooks! (Excuse me while I lick my fingers.) Mangia!
Why I love this dish:
- It’s easy to make (Okay, you have to chop some but you can do that the day before and honestly, it’s not that much chopping!)
- It’s loaded with flavor
- It’s gluten free
- It’s perfect for company
- It doubles easily and freezes beautifully
- You can make it on the stovetop or in the crockpot
- 2 ½ teaspoons sea or Kosher salt, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 (4-5 pound) organic chicken, cut into pieces, or 8 chicken thighs, (my preferred way) bone in and skin on
- ¼ cup olive oil or organic coconut oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (28 ounce) can organic whole plum tomatoes
- 1 (28 ounce) can either organic crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup freshly chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. If using breasts and if they're large, cut each one in half with kitchen shears.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the chicken pieces to the pan. Cook until browned, 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Transfer the browned chicken to a plate. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
- To the hot oil, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and crushed red pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often so it doesn't burn.
- Pour the whole tomatoes into a bowl and crush with 2 forks. Add the tomatoes to the vegetables and add the can of tomato puree.
- Add the wine, taste and add the remaining salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken back into the pot, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, turning the pieces occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Skim off any excess fat.
- Stir in the parsley and serve over pasta on individual plates. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- If using a crockpot, after step 6, put everything into your slow cooker and set on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve over fresh pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Products I use in this recipe:
- Organic Peeled Whole Plum Tomatoes and Tomato Puree: Perfect for any Italian dish!
- Organic Greek Olive Oil–I use this one by Kasandrinos, I’ve used it for years and it’s the only olive oil I use. It’s amazing!!
- Jovial Gluten Free Tagliatelle Pasta -So far, I haven’t found a better tasting gluten free pasta. I love this one! Jovial Organic Gluten Free Traditional Egg Pasta, Egg Tagliatelle, 9 ounce
- If you like mushrooms, add about 2 cups chopped mushrooms when you add the onions to the pot.
- You can also add some chopped red or green pepper when you add the vegetables. And/or olives if you’d like, about ½ a cup.
- I like to add about a tablespoon of sugar to the sauce to cut some of the acidity.
- Serve Chicken Cacciatore with pasta or over mashed potatoes or polenta.
- Watch out for bones!
- If all you have is crushed tomatoes, that’s fine, just use two 28 ounce cans.
- Mike likes to drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the finished dish. It adds a fruity richness that’s really nice. Oh, and freshly grated parmesan cheese!
- This tastes even better the next day so make a big batch! It also freezes really well. You’ll be so glad to have some of this in your freezer!
- This recipe will serve 6-8 people. Double it and freeze a batch. You’ll thank me 🙂