When it comes to classic Italian dishes, chicken cacciatore is always on top of the list. It is a hearty chicken stew with a rich tomato sauce, aromatic herbs, and various vegetables.
The traditional recipe usually includes mushrooms, but not everyone is a big fan. So, here’s a modified version of the delicious Italian staple: Chicken Cacciatore without Mushrooms.
This cacciatore is made with hearty chicken thighs and breasts, a medley of bell peppers, onions, and lots of vibrant spices. And to give it that unmistakable Italian flavor, we add some white wine and fresh herbs.
It is a warm, satisfying dish with a perfect balance of tangy, savory, and slightly spicy flavors. Serve this over a bed of pasta or steamed rice, and you’ll have a fantastic meal that pleases even the pickiest eaters.
Chicken Cacciatore without Mushrooms
You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to make this delicious chicken cacciatore. It’s an ideal recipe for those busy weekdays when you want a hearty dinner with minimal effort.
It’s rich in protein and loaded with an array of colorful veggies, making this dish quite nutritious as well. For a low-carb option, you can pair it with a simple salad.
The best part is that it tastes even better the next day when the flavors have had time to meld together. So, don’t hesitate to make a big batch for leftovers!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this mouthwatering chicken cacciatore.
This recipe calls for easily accessible ingredients you might already have in your kitchen.
Here’s what you need:
- All-purpose flour – for coating the chicken. It gives the chicken a nice, golden crust when seared and helps thicken the sauce too.
- Chicken pieces – use a combination of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and split chicken breasts. These cuts are perfect for long-simmering as they remain juicy and flavorful.
- Salt and pepper – to enhance the flavor of the chicken.
- Olive oil – for searing the chicken and sauteing the vegetables. Olive oil adds fantastic taste and makes the chicken pieces beautifully browned.
- Onion and bell peppers – these provide a savory sweetness and vibrant colors to the dish.
- Garlic – for that aromatic, garlicky flavor.
- Tomato paste and canned tomatoes – for the rich, saucy base. The tomato paste adds depth, while the canned tomatoes provide a delightful tang.
- Dry white wine – it adds a lovely depth of flavor to the sauce. The alcohol evaporates during cooking, leaving behind only its delicious essence.
- Fresh oregano, parsley, and bay leaf – these herbs give the dish a fantastic aroma and enhance its Italian character.
The complete list of ingredients with their respective quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore without Mushrooms
- Coat the chicken with flour. In a plate, season the flour with salt and pepper, then dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
- Sear the chicken. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) and cook until they are browned on all sides. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
- Saute the onions, peppers, and garlic. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onions and peppers until they are softened. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Clear a small space in the center of the skillet and add the tomato paste. Cook it for a minute, then pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Simmer and add the chicken. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Then, nestle the chicken pieces into the sauce, cover the skillet, and let it simmer for another 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Garnish and serve. Finally, sprinkle the chicken cacciatore with chopped parsley before serving.
For the complete list of instructions and measurements, see the recipe card below.
Tips for the Best Chicken Cacciatore
Although this chicken cacciatore without mushrooms is pretty straightforward, here are a few tips to make it even more amazing:
- Choose the right chicken pieces. Bone-in, skin-on thighs and breasts are recommended for this recipe. They stay juicy and flavorful during the long cooking time. However, you can use other cuts as well; just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Don’t skip the flour coating. Coating the chicken with flour and browning it not only enhances the flavor but also helps in thickening the sauce.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine. Don’t forget this step as it adds a lot of depth to the flavor. However, if you don’t have white wine, you can replace it with chicken broth.
- Simmer for the right time. Simmer the sauce for at least 10 minutes before adding the chicken to let the flavors meld together. Then, give the chicken enough time to cook through and become tender.
- Adjust the seasoning. Taste the sauce before adding the chicken and adjust the amount of salt and pepper accordingly. You can also add some more fresh herbs at the end if you prefer a stronger herby flavor.
Feel free to put your own spin on this classic dish:
- Add some heat. If you like it spicy, increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add some chopped fresh chili peppers.
- Include other vegetables. Though this version doesn’t include mushrooms, you can definitely add them if you like. Other veggies like zucchini, eggplant, or carrots would also be great. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Make it creamy. For a creamier version, add some heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end.
- Go for a different protein. Not a fan of chicken? You can easily make this with other meats like beef or pork. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time based on the type of meat you are using.
What to Serve with Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken cacciatore is a complete meal by itself as it contains both protein and veggies. However, if you want to make it into a heartier meal, serve it with any of the following:
- Pasta. Classic chicken cacciatore and pasta make a perfect pair. Serve it with any pasta of your choice, like spaghetti or fettuccine.
- Rice or grains. It also goes well with steamed rice or any grain, like quinoa or couscous.
- Crusty bread. A loaf of warm, crusty bread is perfect for soaking up all the delicious sauce.
- Polenta. Creamy polenta is a great accompaniment if you want to keep it gluten-free.
- Salad. A refreshing green salad with a simple vinaigrette can provide a nice contrast to the rich cacciatore.
Chicken cacciatore makes great leftovers and is freezer-friendly too:
- Refrigerating. Allow the cacciatore to cool down, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. It will stay good for up to 4 days.
- Freezing. The cacciatore can also be frozen. Let it cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags. It will stay good for up to 3 months.
- Thawing and reheating. Thaw the frozen cacciatore in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until fully heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if needed.
Note: The exact storage and reheating instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Chicken Cacciatore (No Mushrooms)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 split chicken breasts with bone and skin (halved crosswise, about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tsp coarse salt (divided)
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (divided)
- 3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped, about 1 cup)
- 1 large red bell pepper (chopped, about 1 cup)
- 1 Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 large cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (gently crushed)
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- In a plate, season the flour with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) and cook until they are browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute.
- Clear a small space in the center of the skillet and add the tomato paste. Cook it for a minute, then pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, and the remaining 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Nestle the chicken pieces into the sauce, cover the skillet, and let it simmer for another 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.