This Chicken Cacciatore recipe is made in a fraction of the time thanks to the pressure cooker instant pot. Tender fall-off the bone chicken cooked in a flavorful hearty sauce with tomatoes, red bell peppers, carrots and olives. This Instant Pot chicken recipe is pure Italian comfort food!
I used to make chicken cacciatore on the stove top or in the oven and although the results were amazing, I needed to plan ahead and have a couple of hours available to get the entire meal on the table.
Making this Cacciatore chicken in my pressure cooker means that I can have tender and juicy chicken in mouthwatering Italian cacciatore sauce ready in about 30 minutes!
What Is Chicken Cacciatore?
- Chicken cacciatore is a rustic, earthy Italian chicken stew made with bone-in chicken. Cacciatore means “Hunter” in Italian.
What Does Hunter style Means?
- “Hunter Style” or “A La Cacciatora” as called in Italy, refers to a meal made by braising meat with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, herbs and sometimes wine. Although chicken is the most common choice when making cacciatore, rabbit and pheasant are sometimes used.
Chicken Cacciatore Recipe Ingredients
- Chicken – Bone-in, boneless chicken thighs, chicken legs or a combination of both.
- Onions – Peeled and sliced.
- Carrots – Peeled and sliced at about 1-inch. If cut too small they will get too soft in the pressure cooker.
- Bell Peppers – Sliced. I use red bell peppers but orange or yellow bell peppers will work.
- Garlic – Fresh is best.
- Tomatoes – Canned crushed tomatoes.
- Oil – I use extra virgin olive oil. Canola oil, avocado oil or vegetable oil can be used.
- Red Wine – Any red wine that you would drink. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Red Zinfandel, Malbec – they all work.
- Chicken Broth – you can use low sodium if you prefer.
- Olives – Kalamata are my favorite.
- Capers – these little gems add a great tangy flavor. If you don’t like capers, you can omit them.
- Seasonings: Dried oregano, Italian seasoning, dried thyme, bay leaf, bouillon granules (optional), red pepper flakes (optional).
- Herbs – Fresh basil, fresh parsley (optional)
How To Make Chicken Cacciatore in the Pressure Cooker
- Set the pressure cooker to saute and heat the oil. Working in batches, sear the chicken until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Saute the onions, then add the carrots, bell peppers and garlic.
- Stir in the dried spices and cook until they become fragrant.
- Deglaze the pot by adding the wine. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. This step is a must when cooking in the pressure cooker. Brown bits stuck at the bottom can trigger a “burn error” when the pot is trying to come to pressure.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, broth and bay leaf. Add the chicken back to the pot and press cancel.
- Lock the lid and cook on high.
- When done, allow to release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release.
- Stir in the olives, capers, basil, parsley, bouillon and red pepper flakes (if using).
What Is Traditionally Served With Chicken Cacciatore?
- This mouthwatering chicken stew is usually served over pasta – like spaghetti or fettuccine. Polenta, rice and mashed potatoes are also delicious served with this easy pressure cooker chicken cacciatore. If you are following a low carb diet, mashed cauliflower pairs beautifully with this chicken recipe.
Can Chicken Cacciatore Be Made Ahead?
- Absolutely! This Instant Pot chicken cacciatore recipe is one of those dishes that taste better the next day! Store the saucy chicken in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Can Chicken Cacciatore Be Frozen?
- Yes! This recipe freezes well and will keep frozen for up to 2 months.
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Tips and Notes
- If you prefer, you can use skin-on chicken. Be aware that as it cooks in the sauce, the skin will not stay crispy.
- You can make this chicken cacciatore recipe in the slow cooker. Brown the chicken and cook the vegetables in a big skillet. Deglaze with the wine. Then transfer the chicken mixture to the crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until the chicken internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Feel free to add sliced mushrooms to this stew.
- If you don’t want to use wine, you can substitute it with chicken broth.
Take a look at these other Pressure Cooker Recipes:
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Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
- 8 chicken thighs or chicken legs (or a combination of both) bone in, skin off
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 - inch thick)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 (28-ounces) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
- Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (optional)
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Set the pressure cooker to saute and heat the oil. Working in batches, sear the chicken until for about 3 - 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside.
- Add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes or until the onions start to soften (add additional oil if needed). Add the carrots, bell peppers and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. until they melt. Add the oregano, thyme and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Pour in the wine and deglaze the pot, scraping the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, broth and bay leaf. Add the chicken back to the pot and press cancel.
- Secure the lid, turn the valve to sealing and cook on HIGH pressure for 14 minutes. When done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully release the remaining pressure and open the lid.
- Stir in the olives, capers, chopped basil, chopped parsley and red pepper flakes. Taste and if needed, stir in the chicken bouillon granules. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Nutrition facts are an estimate and will vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.
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