This Tuscan skillet chicken cacciatore is a hearty chicken dinner that comes together in just one skillet. Packed with meaty chicken, earthy mushrooms, briny olives, all enveloped in a rich tomato sauce, this is far from a boring chicken dinner. Served up with some savory garlic bread to mop up the sauce, this will be a new family favourite.
Why This Recipe Works
- Everything comes together in one skillet: You do not need to dirty multiple dishes to make this recipe. The sauce and chicken come together in the same skillet, making this fuss free!
- It is customizable: You can add or take out ingredients as you like. If you don't like olives, leave them out! Love mushrooms? Add extra!
- A great way to use bone-in chicken: A lot of chicken recipes use boneless, skinless chicken. This recipe is a fantastic way to make use of bone-in chicken, for alllll the flavour.
- Chicken breasts: I prefer bone-in chicken breasts for this recipe as they stay tender and juicy. The bone also adds lots of extra flavour. If you want, you can use skin-on as well.
- Button mushrooms: Regular white mushrooms work well in this recipe. They are a good size, and mild in flavour.
- Bell peppers: You can use any colour bell peppers that you have on hand. I like to add green peppers to this dish as they add a little bit of bitterness.
- Shallots: Shallots add a mild onion flavour to the sauce without being overwhelming.
- Fresh garlic
- San Marzano tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomatoes. They are longer in shape, and have less seeds than regular plum tomatoes. These tomatoes are less acidic, and have a rich flavour. They make the perfect base for most tomato sauces - especially this one.
- Tomato paste: Tomato paste deepens the richness of the sauce, giving it an "all-day" flavour in a fraction of the time.
- Olives: I recommend using whole olives - either castelvetrano or kalamata.
- Spices & seasonings: You will need chilli flakes, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried thyme.
A full list of ingredients with measurements is located on the recipe card, below.
Collecting all your ingredients - This will make cooking so much easier. Gather all the spices you will need, and keep them nearby.
Chop your ingredients - Cut the bell peppers into strips and halve the mushrooms. Thinly slice the shallot and mince the garlic.
Season the chicken liberally with some of the garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, sear the chicken breast in a tablespoon of olive oil, on both sides. Once browned on both sides after approximately 10-15 minutes, remove from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the shallots and garlic, and saute until translucent. Add the peppers and mushrooms, and continue to saute. Once the mushrooms have cooked down, add the tomato paste and cook through for 3-5 minutes.
Add the whole tomatoes, and smash them down with the back of your spoon. Add the spices and olives, and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Put the chicken back in the skillet, and simmer on medium heat for another 15-20 minutes.
Pat the chicken breasts dry before searing in the skillet. A dry surface area will give the chicken a nice crust, and will prevent the chicken from steaming in the skillet.
- Chicken breasts: You can use bone-in chicken thighs, or use a whole chicken broken down to get a variety of white and dark meat.
- Button mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms work well in place of button mushrooms.
- San Marzano tomatoes: You can use regular canned and peeled plum tomatoes if you do not have San Marzano tomatoes on hand.
- Spicy: Add in some calabrian chilli paste to spice up the sauce even more.
- Artichokes: Add in some marinated artichoke hearts for a fancy twist.
- Wine: To really deepen the flavour of the sauce, use some white wine to deglaze the pan after you sear the chicken.
This is what I used to make this recipe - Please be mindful that different equipment and cooking utensils may yield varying results. Most of my favourite equipment can be found on my storefront.
- Cast iron skillet
Note: You can also use a dutch oven if you are making a larger batch, or prefer to use a deeper pot to make the sauce. The results will be the same.
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 days, in the fridge. You can freeze this chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Reheat in the oven.
Chicken parmesan is made with breaded chicken cutlets that are topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Chicken cacciatore is a stewed chicken dish, where the chicken cooks in the tomato sauce.
Cacciatore translates to "hunter" from Italian. This traditional method is usually used when cooking meats such as rabbit. It refers to a rustic cooking method, using herbs, tomatoes, and vegetables.
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Weeknight Skillet Chicken Cacciatore
- 4 Chicken breasts bone-in, skinless
- 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes
- ½ tablespoon Oregano
- ½ tablespoon Dried thyme
- ½ tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 796 mL San marzano tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1 cup Button mushrooms halved
- 2 Bell peppers sliced
- 2 Shallots sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- ½ cup Olives pitted
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sear the Chicken: Season the chicken liberally with some of the garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, sear the chicken breast in a tablespoon of olive oil, on both sides. Once browned on both sides after approximately 10-15 minutes, remove from the skillet and set aside.4 Chicken breasts
- Saute the Vegetables: In the same skillet, add the shallots and garlic, and saute until translucent. Add the peppers and mushrooms, and continue to saute. Once the mushrooms have cooked down, add the tomato paste and cook through for 2-5 minutes.1 cup Button mushrooms, 2 Bell peppers, 2 Shallots, 4 cloves Garlic, 2 tablespoon Tomato paste
- Make the Sauce: Add the whole tomatoes, and smash them down. Add the spices and olives, and cook for 5-7 minutes.1 teaspoon Chilli flakes, ½ tablespoon Oregano, ½ tablespoon Dried thyme, ½ tablespoon Garlic Powder, 796 mL San marzano tomatoes, ½ cup Olives, Salt and pepper to taste
- Put it Together: Put the chicken back in the skillet, and simmer on medium heat for another 15-20 minutes.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry before searing in the skillet. A dry surface area will give the chicken a nice crust, and will prevent the chicken from steaming in the skillet.
- This recipe can be made in a dutch oven if you prefer to use a deeper pot to make the sauce. The results will be the same.