Easy Chicken Cacciatore
Looking for a totally delicious way to shake up your midweek meal routine? Then you have to try my Easy Chicken Cacciatore! It’s an easy peasy version of this comfort food classic, that can be made in under an hour without even switching on your oven. Serve with wodges of creamy mashed potato for the culinary equivalent of a great big hug.
Servings 4 people
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 90 g lardons or smoky bacon diced
- 8 chicken thighs or legs or a mixture skin on and bone in
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 red onions sliced
- 2 red peppers sliced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- 200 ml good quality red wine or chicken stock
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves see note 1
- 4 sprigs of thyme see note 1
- 20 black olives stones removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped finely (optional – for garnish)
- Mashed potatoes or crusty bread to serve
Place the oil in wide shallow pan and heat on high for 1 minute. Add the bacon and fry for 2-3 minutes until brown and crispy, stirring frequently. Remove the bacon onto a plate.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add the chicken pieces to the pan, skin side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly browned, then remove the chicken pieces onto a plate.
Turn the heat under the pan right down and add the onions and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes until reduced slightly, then add the tomatoes, herbs, olives and bacon and bring back to the boil.
Add the chicken pieces back into the pan in a single layer, skin side up. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced to your liking.
Alternatively cook in the oven (see note 2).
When the dish is ready, scatter with parsley, then serve with mashed potatoes and / or crusty bread.
(1) Please add in whatever herbs you like best to this recipe. My choice is bay, thyme and parsley, but you could also use oregano, rosemary, mixed herbs or herbes de Provence. All would work brilliantly (but result in a slightly different flavour). If using dried herbs, I suggest 2 teaspoons in total.
(2) If you prefer, this dish can be cooked in the oven. Use an oven proof saucepan or casserole dish and follow the recipe up until the chicken is back in the pan and the dish has been brought back to the boil. Put a lid on and place in an oven preheated to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6 / 400F for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the oven up to 220C / 200C / gas mark 7 / 425F and cook the chicken for a further 10 minutes. You will find doing it this way the sauce will reduce more and the chicken will get an even crispier skin, but it is an extra step – up to you if you think it is worth it! Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 639kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 719mg | Potassium: 951mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2565IU | Vitamin C: 95.5mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3.8mg