Introduction: Classic Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Picture of Classic Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

A classic Italian dish! This chicken cacciatore recipe is delicious and is very easy to make. This is great to make in the fall with the last harvests of tomatoes and peppers.Prepare ingredients the night before. Next morning, place ingredients in the crockpot, turn crockpot on and leave for work. Later that evening, come home, and your dinner was done! And the leftovers freeze perfectly.

Step 1: Ingredients:

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1 chicken, cut into serving pieces (I leave the skin on, boned

in chicken, for better flavor)

4 tbsp. olive oil

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 large Spanish onion, sliced1/4 inch slices

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large green pepper, sliced

1 cup button mushrooms, opt.

1 can (28 oz.) Hunts Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes including juices, cut tomatoes in half

1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce

¼ cup white wine, opt. or ¼ cup water

1 teaspoon salt

½ tsp. black pepper, more or less to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 -3 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1-2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed

2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

2 dash cayenne pepper

2 -3 bay leaves

Step 2: Rest the Bird:

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Take the package of chicken out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before you want to cook

to allow it to come up to room temp.


Room temp before cooking, heats more even and much faster.

Step 3: Preparing Chicken:

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Place the raw chicken on a plastic cutting board. Remove extra skin or lumps of fat. You may be able to pull these lumps of fat off the chicken with your hands.


I personally use kitchen scissors, they’re much easier and I don’t what gross gunk under my fingernails!

Step 4: Seasoning:

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Season the chicken pieces (all sides) with season salt, and pepper.

Step 5: Meanwhile:

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In a medium bowl combine, the tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano leaves, dried basil leaves, celery seed, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper and wine, mixing until well combined. Set aside.

Step 6: The Veggies:

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Peel and fine chop the garlic. Peel and cut onion in half. Then sliced each half in to semi thin slices. For the green pepper(s), core and slice into medium thin slices. Set vegetables aside.

Step 7: Searing: Takes Minutes and Enhances the Flavor!

Picture of Searing: Takes Minutes and Enhances the Flavor!

In a large cast iron frypan, over medium heat, add butter and oil.Melt the butter with oil.

Step 8: Coat Chicken:

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In a in a food storage bag, combine about 3/4 cup all purpose flour with salt, pepper and paprika as desired. Place chicken pieces, one at a time into bag. Shake to evenly coat the chicken.

Step 9:

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Add chicken to the heated frypan (skin side down), a few pieces at a time without crowding. Sear the chicken about 3-4 minutes per side, until (all sides) the chicken has a golden brown color. Remove chicken to a platter, set aside.

Step 10:

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Continue cooking each piece of chicken about 3-4 minutes per side, until the chicken has a golden brown color.


Browning the chicken before placing in the crockpot adds a wonderful caramelized flavor you just can't get from the slow cooker.

Step 11: Into Crockpot:

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To bottom of the crock, add a single layer of onions.

Step 12:

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Then add 2 -3 pieces of chicken to the top of onions in the crock.

Step 13:

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Add half of remaining onions, half of green peppers, and half of garlic.

Step 14:

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Add the remaining chicken, then add the remaining onions, green pepper and garlic.

Step 15:

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Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken in crock, then add the bay leaves. Cover with lid.

Step 16:

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Set the crockpot timer to desired time. Cook on HIGH 2 ½ to 4 hours or on LOW 6 to 8 hours, or until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone.

The timing of the cooking will vary based on your slow cooker and the size of the chicken. It may be a bit less, than 8 hours.

Step 17: Don't Open the Lid During Cooking!

Picture of Don't Open the Lid During Cooking!

Although it may be tempting to peek inside crock, but don't open the lid during cooking! When you remove the lid, the slow cooker loses heat, and it takes a while to heat back up.


If you really NEED open the crock lid for “add-ins”, keep it as brief as possible.

Step 18:

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When chicken is done cooking, discard bay leafs.

Step 19: Serving:

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Option #1:

With a large slotted spoon, carefully remove the chicken pieces, careful not to break it apart too much. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken then return chicken to crockpot, stirring all ingredients to combine. Return the chicken pieces to the crockpot and stir so that they are well submerged in the tomato mixture. Cover and cook another 30 minutes.

Step 20: OR...

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Option #2:

Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate, followed by the vegetables. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust if needed. Skim the surface of the sauce if excessively greasy. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Step 21: Serving:

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Chicken cacciatore can be served pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, or penne. Also good served with rice or mashed potatoes, or in a bowl by itself!

Step 22: To Freeze:

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Transfer the cooled cacciatore into an air tight container and transfer to the freezer. The day of serving, thaw it out in the morning and bring to room temperature. Transfer to a saucepan and reheat over low-medium heat until heated through.


rayp1511 (author)2016-09-29

I'll be trying this! Do you think it would be as good with boneless chicken breasts?

It looks delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

cyann04 (author)rayp15112016-09-29

I made this one without the bone but to be honest, the flavor wasn't as good. I'll never do that again.

rayp1511 (author)cyann042016-09-29

Thank you I'll stick to the recipe.

cyann04 (author)rayp15112016-10-21

You're so welcome, for over 30 plus years this has been my favorite comfort food!!!

KnittersSerendipity (author)2016-10-17

Stunning photography! My husband loves cooking now, I can't wait to show this to him! Do you ever deglaze the pan that you used to sauté the chicken? Those crunchy bits and carmelized fat would be tasty in the sauce too. Great job on this instuctable!

Yes I do deglaze the pan!!!!

YonitP (author)2016-09-29

This will be great for my italian jewish rosh hashana family dinner. Thanks for posting. Love all the pictures and already have 90% of the ingredeints in the house. Yay!

cyann04 (author)YonitP2016-09-29

Let me know how yours turned out, ok?

makeiteasydiy (author)2016-09-29

It looks like you dredged the chicken in flour, but I don't see that step. Or do my eyes deceive me? Looks great. I love slow cooker recipes.

cyann04 (author)makeiteasydiy2016-09-29

Dredging with flour helps the liquid to thicken a bit while cooking...

danpitak (author)2016-09-29

Che Sembra Delizioso!

cyann04 (author)danpitak2016-09-29

E 'il migliore, meglio quindi anche quelle a restraunts !!

seamster (author)2016-09-27

Wow this looks good. Got my mouth watering! :)

cyann04 (author)seamster2016-09-28

Honestly a great comfort food, and next day... flavors enhanced!

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