This chicken cacciatore is made by slowly cooking chicken in a delicate white wine and San Marzano tomato sauce along with mushrooms, onions, red peppers, and asparagus. The best thing about chicken cacciatore is the flavor that the chicken fat adds to the dish, which after being cooked at a low simmer for a couple of hours results in a thin and extra savory tomato sauce. I prefer using cans of San Marzano tomatoes blended in a blender so that the sauce is smooth and super simple and all the flavor comes from the fat from the chicken.
This was often one of the dinners I would request for my birthday each year when I was younger. I added asparagus here which is not traditional for chicken cacciatore, but I always crave some added green vegetables and asparagus fits really well. Though feel free to leave it out if you prefer.
- I like to add the red bell peppers in at the end so that they don't get mushy. I prefer a slightly soft, mostly crisp red pepper.
- Skip the asparagus if you're looking to save some time at the end.
- Another way to shave a little bit of time off this recipe is to use a jar of Rao's marinara sauce. I like using San Marzano tomatoes and blending it into a smooth sauce because it is the lightest and simplest sauce you can get. But, Rao's also has one of the simplest, best jarred tomato sauces (very few ingredients, very tasty sauce). It will also be super delicious with Rao's.
- Consider serving this with a salad first so that you're still getting in some green veggies.
- One final idea for making this SUPER simple: Add the chicken to a large pot. Pour over 1-2 jars of Rao's sauce, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook slowly until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over pasta. Done. (you don't have to add any of the onions, or mushrooms, or veggies - it definitely adds flavor and a variety of yummy foods, but in a pinch when kids are jumping on the couch one room over and tackling each other and your brain is a bit fuzzy, this is a good way to go).
Chicken Cacciatore with San Marzano Tomato Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more if needed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 package white mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 28oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 whole chicken, quartered, bone in, skin on
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp basil
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti or penne
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1 package asparagus, cut at an angle into 1 inch pieces
- Add a couple of tablespoons olive oil to a large pot or Dutch Oven at medium-low heat. Sauté the onions for 5-10 minutes until soft and starting to caramelize. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until they start to release their juices.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup white wine and allow to simmer and cook off for about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes to a blender and blend until smooth, about 15 seconds. Add the sauce to the Dutch Oven. Add the chicken pieces. Blend the second can of tomatoes and add to the pot.
- Add the oregano, basil, salt, and bay leaves.
- Cover, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 1 hour or until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
- Remove the chicken, shred into pieces adding the chicken back to the Dutch Oven, discarding the bones and skin.
- Meanwhile prepare a pot and cook the pasta until al dente.
- Add the peppers to the Dutch Oven and cook for 7 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how thick the asparagus is.
- Serve over pasta, adding additional salt to taste.