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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Updated on March 8, 2013
Photo © Redberry Sky 2013
Photo © Redberry Sky 2013

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5 stars from 1 rating of Chicken Cacciatore

Slow cooked meals are easy and delicious. Meat becomes fall-apart tender, there's no need to add fats or oils, and preparation is minimal.

If you are new to slow-cookers, there are a couple of slow-cooking tips and tricks just below the recipe, and I've added some interesting health and nutrition information too.

'Cacciatore' is Italian for 'hunter', and this is a simple tomato and chicken version with onions, herbs and spices.

Recipe in Pictures

Roll the skinned chicken thighs in plain flour
Roll the skinned chicken thighs in plain flour | Source
Add half a can of chopped tomatoes to the slow cooker pot and place half the floured chicken thighs on top
Add half a can of chopped tomatoes to the slow cooker pot and place half the floured chicken thighs on top
Put half of the onions on top of the chicken thighs
Put half of the onions on top of the chicken thighs
Pour half a can of tomatoes on top of the onions, and then continue to layer the ingredients - adding the last of the tomatoes last so that the other ingredients are covered in the tomato juice liquid.
Pour half a can of tomatoes on top of the onions, and then continue to layer the ingredients - adding the last of the tomatoes last so that the other ingredients are covered in the tomato juice liquid.
Cover, turn the slow cooker on the 'low' setting, and leave for six hours.  Then add the herbs an garlic to the pot, stir all the ingredients gently, and cook for a further two hours.
Cover, turn the slow cooker on the 'low' setting, and leave for six hours. Then add the herbs an garlic to the pot, stir all the ingredients gently, and cook for a further two hours.
Serve with salad and garlic bread, or other side accompaniment.
Serve with salad and garlic bread, or other side accompaniment.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 10 min
Yields: Serves four people two chicken thighs each

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs, skinned
  • 2 cans tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons plain flour for coating meat
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rosemary, (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon thyme, (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon oregano, (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Roll the chicken thighs in a little plain flour.
  2. Empty 1/2 a can of tomatoes into the slow-cooker pot, place half the chicken thighs and then half the chopped onions, and continue to layer the ingredients on top of each other, finishing with the last of the tomatoes.
  3. Set the slow cooker to its 'low' setting, and leave to cook for 6 hours.
  4. Add the minced garlic and your preferred herbs and spices - I give my favourites for this recipe in the 'ingredients' list but there are many other possibilities too - crushed chili flakes will turn it into a nice 'n' spicy dish.
  5. Continue to cook on low for another 1-2 hours and then serve - I serve this with garlic bread and salad, but it goes well with pasta too, or spoon the thighs onto a bed of rice or cous cous.

Slow Cooking Hints and Tips for Chicken Cacciatore

These are a few things I've discovered about using slow cookers:

Herbs and spices – herbs and spices can become bitter, or their flavours can be lost entirely when cooked for a long time, so add them to the slow cooker about one or two hours before the end of the cooking time.

Thickening – slow cooked sauces don't thicken in the way that stovetop stews or oven casseroles do, and liquids don't reduce. Rolling the meat in flour before adding it to the pot helps, and only adding enough liquid to make sure that the ingredients cook without catching and burning.

Do Not Disturb. Unless you need to add more liquid or more ingredients at different stages of cooking, leave the lid in place – otherwise heat will escape. Checking and stirring doesn't make much difference to other forms of cooking, but slow cookers take a long time to build up heat, so taking the lid off can dramatically lower the temperature inside the pot.

Health and Nutrition

Chicken thighs have plenty of B3 and B6-vitamins, tryptophan, selenium and protein, and part of your recommended daily iron intake. Chicken soup has been shown to help boost the immune system and perhaps get rid of colds more quickly. Because this cacciatore recipe is cooked slowly allowing all the micronutrients from the chicken thighs to infuse the cooking liquid, I can't see any reason why it shouldn't have the same properties as traditional chicken soup.

Herbs and spices – Rosemary and thyme proportionally contain a lot of iron – it's in non-heme form so it needs a bit of help from vitamin C and/or heme iron to be absorbed by the body. The tomatoes in this recipe provide the vitamin C, and the chicken provides the heme iron, so you'll be getting the most out of this dish if you need a little iron boost.

Colds, flu and infections – as well as chicken's possible role in clearing a cold more quickly, lots of herbs and spices have antimicrobial or immune-boosting properties that might be able to prevent or help get rid of minor infections. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, turmeric, black pepper and many others have been traditionally used as culinary 'medicine', and research is beginning to show that herbs and spices really do have a mild but appreciable beneficial effect, so add a pinch or two of your favourites to ward off winter chills or summer colds.

Approximate Average Nutrition Per Serving

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 chicken thighs with 2 medium slices garlic bread
Calories 450
Calories from Fat90
% Daily Value *
Fat 10 g15%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 5 g
Carbohydrates 53 g18%
Sugar 3 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 35 g70%
Cholesterol 115 mg38%
Sodium 439 mg18%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This looks fantastic! I am definitely saving this one and I think this coming weekend is a good time to try it. Thank you!

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

      Very nicely presented the photos make the dish so appealing. Voted up and shared.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this recipe.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Red. This looks delicious. I have never owned a slow cooker so the tips you gave on using one are great too, I wouldn´t have known that added herbs would taste bitter if put in at the beginning of cooking, or thought about the health and nutrition benefits either, so great recipe and great info. Thanks :) voted up and shared.

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