Chicken Cacciatore

When Jim and I first met, I started gathering simple recipes to cook for us. Chicken Cacciatore made the early list. It was so easy that I even made it while tent camping one year. Over the last decade, I have adapted that first iteration and still make changes based on what I have on hand. At it's most basic form I simmer strips of red bell pepper with onion and tomatoes, then settle seared chicken into the sauce to braise until cooked through.

There was a time I only used boneless skinless chicken breasts and I know I still have readers who do the same. I know because you email me and I feel you 100% on this conviction. "Ugly chicken" as I called it was a travesty, and I used to have Jim trim the "ugly" off boneless skinless chicken breasts before I would handle them. Through years of taste testing recipes, I can confirm that the experts were right all along, and chicken thighs definitely have more flavor. Leaving the skin on chicken thighs while cooking also keeps it from drying out. Before I go down the rabbit hole of what chicken to use when, let me just end this by saying use whatever chicken you are comfortable using, even if it means you trim the ugly parts off first.


Olive oil and butter (I like California Olive Ranch EVOO, and I use about a tablespoon each of oil and butter)

Chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 large shallots, minced (or use yellow onion, sliced into strips)

2 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips