This flavorful dish is a simplified version of a traditional Italian meal. It’s super easy to make and tastes amazing! It’s also vitamin C-rich with the peppers and onions, plus the tomatoes in the spaghetti sauce. Typically, Chicken Cacciatore is made with thighs and/or drumsticks, but this time I used chicken breasts.
When I share a recipe based on a traditional recipe, I like to do a little research so that I can compare the ingredients to ensure the flavors are close to the originally. This is compilation of what I found:
Cacciatore in Italian means “hunter”. When preparing food “hunter-style”, dishes were simple and delicious, mostly put together using leftovers or whatever was readily available. The recipes generally included onions, herbs, typically tomatoes and frequently bell peppers. Wine was sometime included. I could not find any traditional recipes that called for black olives, so it seems to be a modern day adaptation. (But my, oh my . . . they sure tasted good in my Chicken Cacciatore)
As quick as this is to make following the recipe, I worked a little Leftover Magic with leftover pre-cooked boneless chicken breasts that I had previously stashed in the freezer and thawed in the fridge during the day, leftover rice from a stirfry two evenings before, and some leftover freezer spaghetti sauce from chili making the day before. Using frozen mixed pepper and onion strips is a huge timesaver and I never have to worry about them going bad before I use them.
I do freeze my own bell pepper strips, which saves me a bunch of money, but I haven’t had much luck growing many red or yellow bell peppers large enough to use. So I bought a bag of tri-color peppers with onions. Using just green bell peppers works fine, too.
I made this dinner for two, but it actually made a third serving, which was good the next day for lunch. It can easily be doubled to feed a family of four. Serve with a crusty bread for a wonderful rendition of an Italian favorite. Delizioso!
Skillet Chicken Cacciatore
Prep 5 minutes Cook 30 minutes Serves 2
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ bag frozen mixed bell pepper and onion strips
- 4 oz sliced mushrooms (or small can of drained mushrooms)
- halved black olives
- 1 cup spaghetti sauce
- Cooked rice or buttered egg noodles
If using pre-cooked chicken, lightly brown and heat in hot oil for a few minutes, then proceed with step 4. No need to halve or pound the precooked chicken.
- Pound the chicken breasts to ½ ” thick (or slice the breasts in half horizontally)
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat
- Paper towel dry the chicken, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and then pan sear the chicken to a crispy golden color. Cook for about 8 minutes on each side.
- Add the pepper and onion strips, plus the mushrooms and olives, and then sauté for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Carefully stir in the spaghetti sauce, and simmer for 8 -10 minutes.
- Serve over rice or pasta.