The sweet aroma of bell peppers simmering slowly all day long with onions and chicken in crushed tomatoes will make you a very happy person when you get home from work. Serve this over your favorite pasta, rice or polenta and enjoy!
Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian, often the chicken is dusted with flour and fried in oil before simmering in tomatoes with onions and peppers. This skinny version removes the skin and skips the deep frying, but you won't miss it.
When using your crock pot, I always recommend browning the meat and vegetables first for deeper flavors and a thicker sauce because liquids don't evaporate in the slow cooker.
But for those of you who don't want to dirty a pan, or don't have that extra time to brown first I tested this out using the quick method of dumping it all in the slow cookers.
Verdict: The sauce wasn't as thick as I would have liked, so my easy fix: I set the crock pot to high with the cover off for one additional hour to let it simmer and thicken and that worked fine. Perhaps adding a little flour would also help i thicken. If you want to add mushrooms to the sauce, this would also be a great time to do so.
If you are a white meat girl, you can certainly use chicken breast but I highly recommend keeping the chicken on the bone. The bone is what gives you such great flavor, you can always remove it after.
For the stove top version, see Chicken Cacciatore. Cooking on the stove differs from the crock pot, liquids evaporate quickly on the stove where as in the slow cooker nothing evaporates. When you add all the elements to your crock, you may be tempted to add broth but don't. There will be plenty of liquid once it starts cooking. Also, flavors tend to get muted in the slow cooker, so I always adjust my herbs and seasoning in the end to get it where I want it.
Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 thigh, 1/2 cup sauce, veggies • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts*
Calories: 126.2 • Fat: 2.8 g • Protein: 13.9 g • Carb: 9.2 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Sugar: 4.1 g
Sodium: 271.6 mg (without salt)
- 8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso my favorite!)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/2 large onion, sliced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping
Quick method: Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken, top with onions and peppers, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. When the timer beeps, remove lid and keep the crock pot on HIGH one hour to help it thicken.
Better method but requires more prep: Heat a large skillet over medium-high, lightly spray with oil (I use my Misto) and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker. To the skillet, spray with a little more oil and add onions and peppers. Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become golden, a few minutes.
Add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.
Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy!
* Pasta not included in nutritional info.