This is an easy way to make Chicken Cacciatore, a classic Italian staple, quickly and easily. There can be a little prep work cooking before the crock pot for 10 minutes or so, but if you are really in a pinch, just throw it all in and you are good to go.
1 T olive oil + 2 t, divided
2 lb – chicken* (thighs, bone in or bone out, or breasts)
1 t – salt
1/2 t – pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar + 1/2 t
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 t Italian Seasoning*
1. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick spray. Prepare your chicken by sprinkling it with a healthy coating of salt & pepper on each side.
2. Heat 1 T olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add seasoned chicken in single layer to pan. Sear each side for a few minutes and has a nice brown color. Transfer chicken to slow cooker.
3. Reduce the skillet heat and add remaining oil. Saute the onion and the garlic in the oil. Once cooked, add 1 T balsamic vinegar and cook for one minute. Remove and add to slow cooker with drippings on top of the chicken.
4. Top the chicken with tomatoes, green bell pepper, mushrooms and seasoning. Cook in crock pot low and slow.
Minimum timing – Chicken breasts; high 2-3hrs or low 4-5 hrs, Chicken thighs; high 3-4 hrs or low 5-6 hrs, chicken thighs with bone IN; high 4-5 or low 6-8 hours
5. Once chicken is cooked, turn slow cooker to high, remove the chicken and remove the lid. Allow sauce to thicken. Once this process is done, add remaining balsamic vinegar and stir together.
6. As your sauce is thickening, you can prepare your pasta following directions on the box. You can also use quinoa, polenta, rice or any other grain or side dish you’d like. In addition, you can choose to leave your chicken whole, slice it or shred it.
7. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.
1. You can use various chicken pieces to make this dish. Chicken breasts work, but chicken thighs are a delightful flavor and really pair well with the sauce. Check the cooking time in the instructions above based on what kind of meat you select. The easiest is chicken thighs with bone out.
2. Make your own Italian seasoning easily by using 2 T of both basil and oregano, 1 T of rosemary and 1/2 T of Thyme and Marjoram.
3. Use ziti pasta for the most athentic, but pasta of any type works well. A great idea is to lightly spray your pasta once it is finished with a spritz of cooking spray. This will help keep it from sticking together as it cools, and is super helpful for spaghettis and angel hair dishes.
4. If you want, you can avoid browning the chicken and cooking the onions and garlic in the pan. It will still taste delicious if you don’t, but by searing the meat and cooking the onion and garlic, it helps deepen the flavor of the dish. Enjoy!