Looking for an easy, but tasty, chicken slow cooker meal that doesn’t take all day to make? Look no further! The marriage of chicken, tomatoes, Italian seasonings, vegetables and a good flavorful olive oil tenderizing in a * Crock Pot makes for yummy meal especially if you are a red sauce lover like me. The traditional Italian Chicken Cacciatore (cacciatore means “hunter”) is not served over pasta. It is served by itself as a course and the chicken is not boneless and skinless. You could make this recipe with chicken thighs or drum sticks but, it would need to cook much longer.
One of the things I like about this recipe is that when it sits overnight, it tastes even better the next day and it can be served with rice or mixed with rice. It can be made into a soup too. Isn’t it versatile? If you choose to add the black olives, they will give a nice flavor to the tomato sauce that will emerge in four hours of cooking slowly. I do not suggest putting the pasta into the slow cooker because it will almost always over cook and get mushy which, in my humble opinion, is just the wrong way to make what is the delicacy of pasta.
This recipe is nice to make on a weekend afternoon when you are doing home projects and want something good to eat without a lot of cleanup and prep time. However, I don’t recommend this recipe be made as a weeknight meal if you work all day because 9 hours in the crock pot on low will liquefy the peppers and you may not be happy with the results.
If you don’t yet have a slow cooker, I highly suggest buying one because they are very reasonably priced, easy to use and very practical. The meat is tenderized via the slow cook process so, it is moist, tender and delicious. The meat is also marinating in the juices from the other ingredients while it is tenderizing. I’ve cooked eye roasts in the slow cooker while going to work and coming home nine hours to a delicious, tender roast with minimal prep. It is a novice cook’s best kitchen tool.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- 2 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut lengthwise and then cut into 2”by 2” pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper cut into 1” by 1” pieces, membrane and seeds removed
- 1 large green bell pepper cut into 1” by 1” pieces, membrane and seeds removed
- 2 large fresh ripe tomatoes cut into 1” by 1” pieces -or- 1- 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbl of fresh parsley or ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
- ¼ cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. pitted black olives (optional)
- 8 oz. of dry spaghetti, cooked according to package directions after chicken is cooked
- Turn on a 4 or 6 quart slow cooker and set to low setting.
- Add the olive oil, garlic, and onions first.
- Add remaining ingredients except for spaghetti into the slow cooker and cover. Let it cook for 4 hours. If you are home during the cooking time, stir it after two hours of cooking.
- When the chicken is cooked and the peppers are tender, the cacciatore is finished.
- Serve over spaghetti or your choice of pasta or eat it alone with a spoon!