Crock-Pot® chicken cacciatore is a variation of the traditional Italian dish. The main ingredients usually include chicken, tomatoes or tomato sauce, onion, mushrooms, and a variety of spices. Optional other ingredients — such as wine, green peppers, or anchovies — can also be added for extra flavor. As its name indicates, the dish is prepared by placing the ingredients in a Crock-Pot® slow cooker and simmering them for several hours. Chicken cacciatore is commonly served over pasta or rice.
Different cuts of chicken can be used when making Crock-Pot® chicken cacciatore. Many recipes call for chicken breasts, but thighs are also often used. The chicken can be boneless or bone-in. Some people prefer the ease of eating boneless chicken, while others believe that bone-in chicken is more flavorful. When making the meal in a slow cooker, frozen chicken can be used but the cooking time must be extended to give the chicken enough time to thaw out and cook thoroughly.
Tomatoes are the main element of the sauce for Crock-Pot® chicken cacciatore. For best results, tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes and fresh, diced tomatoes should be used when preparing the dish. If fresh tomatoes are not available, canned tomatoes and sauce can be substituted.
Onions and mushrooms usually add a rich dimension of flavor to Crock-Pot® chicken cacciatore. These vegetables are usually sliced to enhance the texture of the recipe. Any variety of mushroom can be used, and canned mushrooms can be substituted for fresh mushrooms if necessary. While fresh onions are best, frozen may be used in a pinch.
The combination of spices used in the Crock-Pot® chicken cacciatore is very important to ensure the proper flavor of the dish. Traditional Italian herbs such as oregano, thyme, and basil are included in most recipes. Garlic is also usually called for. Fresh herbs tend to give the meal a better taste, but dried herbs also work well when making chicken cacciatore.
Less common ingredients in Crock-Pot® chicken cacciatore can include green bell peppers, wine, and anchovies or anchovy paste. Adding these ingredients is a personal preference, as each one can have a rather strong flavor. Some recipes may call for white wine, while others call for red. The recipe will generally work well with either type of wine.
When making Crock-Pot® chicken cacciatore, several hours must be factored in for cooking time. A Crock-Pot® cooks food at a low temperature and during the long cooking time the ingredients combine together for a rich and savory dish. On average, this recipe requires three to four hours of cooking time if the Crock-Pot® is set on high, and five to seven hours of simmering if the Crock-Pot® is set on low.