Introduction: 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:
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:
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:
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:
Season the chicken pieces (all sides) with season salt, and pepper.
Step 5: Meanwhile:
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:
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!
In a large cast iron frypan, over medium heat, add butter and oil.Melt the butter with oil.
Step 8: Coat Chicken:
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.
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.
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:
To bottom of the crock, add a single layer of onions.
Then add 2 -3 pieces of chicken to the top of onions in the crock.
Add half of remaining onions, half of green peppers, and half of garlic.
Add the remaining chicken, then add the remaining onions, green pepper and garlic.
Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken in crock, then add the bay leaves. Cover with lid.
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!
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.
When chicken is done cooking, discard bay leafs.
Step 19: Serving:
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...
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:
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:
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.