Chicken cacciatore is a classic Italian dish usually made with tomatoes and bell peppers. But what if you’re not a fan of tomatoes, or you simply want to try a different variation?
This chicken cacciatore without tomatoes is perfect for those who want to enjoy a hearty Italian meal sans the tangy tomatoes.
With the combination of succulent chicken, aromatic herbs, and savory anchovies, it’s a dish that’s rich in flavor and sure to satisfy your taste buds.
It’s a great way to change up your usual chicken recipe. Plus, it’s simple to make and has a healthier twist as it uses olive oil instead of butter.
So if you’re ready for a tomato-free version of chicken cacciatore, let’s dive into the recipe!
Chicken Cacciatore Without Tomatoes
This chicken cacciatore recipe removes the traditional tomatoes but still maintains the rustic, hearty essence of the dish.
The chicken is seared golden brown, then braised with aromatic herbs and white wine, creating a rich and savory sauce.
For an umami boost, oil-packed anchovies are added, giving the dish a depth of flavor that’s simply irresistible.
It’s a delicious low-carb, paleo-friendly dish that’s perfect for any day of the week. Serve it with a side of green vegetables or cauliflower rice to complete your meal.
To make this dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Olive oil. This acts as the base of our dish, providing a rich, fruity flavor to our chicken.
- Chicken thighs. For the best flavor, use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. They turn out juicy and tender, and the skin adds extra crispiness.
- Salt and pepper. These are the staple seasonings for the chicken. They enhance the taste of the chicken and complement the other flavors in the dish.
- Oil-packed anchovies. These are our secret umami ingredient. They add a deep, savory taste to the dish, similar to the effect of using tomatoes.
- Garlic cloves. Garlic is a must for any Italian dish. It adds a wonderful aroma and a slightly sweet, pungent flavor.
- Fresh rosemary. This herb adds an earthy, piney flavor that pairs well with chicken. It also gives a touch of freshness to the dish.
- White wine vinegar and dry white wine. These add a pleasant tanginess and balance out the richness of the chicken.
- Water. This is used to help deglaze the pan and create more sauce.
Please refer to the recipe card at the end for precise ingredient measurements.
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore Without Tomatoes
Follow these steps to cook the dish:
- Sear the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sear them in the skillet until golden brown, then set them aside.
- Cook the other ingredients. In the same skillet, add the anchovies, garlic, and rosemary. Saute them for a few minutes until the anchovies have dissolved. Then, add the white wine vinegar to deglaze the pan.
- Braise the chicken. Return the chicken to the skillet, and pour in the white wine. Allow it to boil, then reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Add water if needed to create more sauce.
- Serve and enjoy! Once the chicken is cooked through and tender, it’s ready to be served. Plate it up with your favorite sides and dig in!
For the complete cooking instructions and ingredient quantities, see the recipe card below.
Tips for the Best Results
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making this dish:
- Use quality chicken thighs. Since the chicken is the star of the dish, it’s crucial to use good-quality meat. Look for chicken thighs with skin that’s golden yellow and meat that’s firm and free from any unpleasant odors.
- Don’t skip the anchovies. Even if you’re not a fan of the strong, fishy taste of anchovies, don’t exclude them from the recipe. When cooked down, they lose their fishy flavor and instead add a fantastic depth of savory taste.
- Adjust the liquid according to your preference. If you like a richer, saucier dish, you can increase the amount of dry white wine and water. For a slightly tangier version, add a bit more white wine vinegar.
- Serve with fresh herbs for garnish. Once the dish is cooked, sprinkle some fresh chopped rosemary on top for a lovely presentation and an extra burst of herbal flavor.
If you want to customize this recipe, here are a few ideas:
- Add vegetables. While we’re omitting bell peppers in this version, you can still include other veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, or even olives for added texture and flavor.
- Make it spicy. If you like a bit of heat, add some red pepper flakes or a diced chili pepper when sauteing the other ingredients.
- Try a different protein. Although chicken is the traditional choice, you can experiment with other meats like pork or even tofu for a vegetarian version.
What to Serve With Chicken Cacciatore
This chicken cacciatore recipe is versatile when it comes to pairing. Here are a few ideas:
- Pasta, rice, or polenta. For a wholesome, filling meal, serve the cacciatore with your favorite pasta, rice dish, or creamy, cheesy polenta.
- Crusty bread. The rich sauce in the cacciatore is ideal for mopping up with some fresh, crusty bread.
- Salad. Balance out the richness of the chicken with a fresh, vibrant salad on the side. A simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette would be perfect.
- Roasted or steamed vegetables. A side of roasted Brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, or grilled asparagus would provide a healthy contrast to the chicken.
- Cauliflower rice or zoodles. If you want to keep it low-carb, serve the cacciatore with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
Remember, the best part about chicken cacciatore is its adaptability. You can switch up the sides each time you make it!
Chicken Cacciatore Without Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6-8 oil-packed anchovies
- 3 garlic cloves smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup water
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sear them in the skillet until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the anchovies, smashed garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the anchovies have dissolved.
- Add the white wine vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
- Return the chicken thighs to the skillet and add the white wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the skillet and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. If needed, add water to create more sauce.
- Serve the chicken cacciatore hot, garnished with fresh chopped rosemary. Pair it with your favorite sides like pasta, rice, or vegetables.