Chicken Cacciatore is a classic Italian dish that is really a stew (hunters stew). This version of the recipe is enhanced with a rich buttery taste – it is next level flavor. I grew up eating a lot of chicken stew; the Italian version differs in that it really doesn’t (typically) add tomato paste. The stew I grew up on was made with tomato paste and fresh tomatoes. I like both styles of stew but the cacciatore is my son’s favorite so I am drawn to making the Italian version – and now I have added the buttery flavor which makes it delightfully rich.
This recipe is flexible so you can add less butter and more avocado oil or simply use only olive oil. I use the avocado oil in the recipe because of its high smoke point. This addition and using medium heat prevents the butter from burning. If you use just butter the chance of the butter burning is high and browning the chicken will not come out correct. Plus you will be using burnt butter to cook the veggies and you really don’t want that.
I hope you will make this recipe as is and enjoy as much as we do. Happy cooking!
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Butter Chicken Cacciatore
An amazingly rich buttery tasting chicken cacciatore. Great for any weekday or weeknight dinner table.
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken cut up and backbone reserved for another use. For small breast, leave in 2 whole halves and scored 2 to 3 slits
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (you will not use all of it)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt or salt of your choice and adjust for your diatery requirement.
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/4 cup) Can replace with olive oil if preferred but recipe will not be buttery.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 3/4 large onion peeled and diced (or 1 medium onion)
- 1 large carrot cleaned and diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 hot pepper diced – seeds removed if preferred. I used jalapeño
- 6 cloves garlic crushed or finely minced
- 1/4 cup mixed herbs thyme, rosemary, oregano (equal portions if possible)
- 2 tablespoons capers rinsed if you prefer
- 4 plum tomatoes diced /chopped (you may peel if you prefer)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth or you can use white wine
- 28 ounces crushed or whole canned tomatoes
Season the chicken with the salt and black pepper, reserving 1/4 teaspoon of each to season the vegetables.
Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.
In a 6 quart saute pan over medium heat, add the avocado oil and butter. Allow the butter to melt, ensuring that it does not brown or burn.
Note: Adjust the heat if the butter is starting to brown before it melts.
Add the chicken in a single layer and cook 4 minutes, until lightly brown. Use a tong to turn over the chicken and cook 4 more minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Note: If using a smaller pan, brown the chicken in 2 batches.
Add the onions, carrots, and peppers. Saute 5 minutes until onions and vegetables starts to soften.
Season with a pinch of the remaining salt and pepper. Stir.
Add the garlic, herbs and capers. Stir. Add the diced/chopped tomatoes. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Stir. Cook 3 to 4 minutes with heat turned up to medium high.
Add the chicken broth. Stir. With heat at medium, cook 10 to 15 minutes until tomatoes start to break down.
Add the canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil.Add the chicken parts in a single layer. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Uncover, and flip the chicken parts over. Cover and continue simmering until chicken is very tender – 15 to 20 minutes.
Garnish with scallions or herbs of choice. Plate and serve with your favorite side dish. I usually serve this with pasta, but rice will do.
You can use olive or just avocado oil instead of butter. It just won’t have the buttery flavor but it will taste very good.
I cook this cacciatore longer than many recipes – don’t skimp on the cooking time. The vegetables really develop richness, absorbing the buttery flavor. In 30 minutes the chicken is fully cooked but I cook for the extra time to really take it to a fork tender texture.
This was a small chicken and we got 6 servings out of it. The number of servings will depend on the appetite of your eaters.