Chicken Cacciatore

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During my middle years of college I lived with my grandparents.  From time to time I liked to cook a weekend meal to give my Gram a break in the kitchen and to show them my appreciation for all they were doing for me.  Back then I was following Weight Watchers and subscribed to their Smart Choice Recipe Collection which delivered a packet of recipes on a monthly basis.  When this recipe came I knew I needed to try it, since my Gramp loves all things labeled Italian food.

This brings back a lot of memories.  I remember Gramp being the pasta tester.  Gram would get out a small plate and let a few pieces cool and Gramp would give the "OK" or "a few more minutes".  I even have the faintest memories of pasta making going on in the kitchen with one of Gramp's uncles who had visited from out of town.  These are memories I will always carry with me! 

Getting back on track, since I first started making this dish I have heavily adapted it to what it is today.  The best change being adding additional vegetables (onions, peppers and extra plum tomatoes), which I like because I can eat more without feeling guilty.  This dish has become a favorite, even winning over my sister who doesn't always care for my cooking.  Hey, I try!

Here is what you'll need: 
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 8 pieces of bone-in chicken (I think thighs are best, but I've also used legs and breasts) 
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz. plum tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
In a dutch oven on high heat, add 1 tsp olive oil and chicken parts.  Cook chicken until well browned on all sides.  Remove from pot and set aside.

Turn heat to medium-high and 1 tsp olive oil to dutch oven.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.  Add peppers and onions, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften.  Add garlic, and continue cooking, stirring until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to pot.  Stir well.  Using thongs, squeeze tomatoes to jump start their breakdown process.

Remove skin from chicken pieces (and immediately throw that crispy stuff away before you're tempted to eat it!).  Nestle chicken into sauce and vegetables.

Cover, turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Serves 6-8.

I serve this over pasta, but you could also serve on it's own, over any type of grain.

Comments (2)

Yummy!! love cheesecakes!
Thanks for the recipe!

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I'm not sure if I am leaving this comment in the correct place. It said one comment, and it was about cheesecake. I am referring to the chicken cacciatore and your memories. I had to smile at those fond times. I remember them well. The uncle that made the pasta was Uncle Louie from Pennsylvania. That was Grampa's father's brother. Thanks for the great recipes and great memories!