Chicken Cacciatore Stew
Chicken cacciatore is an Italian dish of chicken braised in a tomato-based sauce and often includes wild mushrooms. It is frequently referred to as “hunter style” as the word cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. Why “hunter” style? One story is that if a hunter came home empty-handed, his wife would kill a chicken for the meal instead.
This dish keeps your house smelling great for a few hours as it simmers away. I use a large enameled cast iron pot and a low simmer. I sometimes double the recipe because this dish does freeze well and comes in handy for a hardy reheat meal on a weeknight when schedules are tight and the cook is tired.
Lighten It Up
A traditional chicken cacciatore calls for a whole chicken which is delicious. I like using whatever I have on hand or what is on sale at the market. Today it was split bone-in chicken breast. I shred the chicken breast after they are fork tender and make a stew instead of a traditional chicken cacciatore. This dish is great served over polenta, rice, pasta or served with a warm piece of crusty bread.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 2 hours
Yields: 18 servings
- 2-3 lbs of organic chicken breast (bone in, skin removed)
- 8 oz. mixed mushrooms, like crime and shiitake
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 small yellow and 1 small red pepper, diced
- 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- pitted kalamata olives, two handfuls
- 2 cups chicken low sodium chicken broth
- 1-14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1-14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon each of parsley, basil, oregano and a few twigs of thyme
- Drizzle of Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 Fresh basil leaves
- Season chicken with salt, pepper and sprinkled oregano.
- Heat a heavy cast iron skillet, drizzled with olive oil. Place the chicken into the hot oil and brown until golden. Turn and brown the other side. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add vegetables , garlic, salt and pepper to taste, a few twigs of thyme, sauce for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Toss in 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and chopped fresh basil.
- Place the chicken back into the pan and sit into the juices. Simmer on low, for two hours or until the chicken falls off the bone. Uncovered.
- Serve over polenta, pasta or rice.