This flavorful Chicken Cacciatore, the quintessential Italian chicken stew that cooks for hours, will seem like it braised all day, but can actually be made in like a half hour. I have two secrets to shortening up this hearty chicken stew. The first secret is to use chicken tenderloins and the second is bacon. Yep, #baconbacon!
Since this recipe is for a quick chicken cacciatore, I like to use small pieces of chicken to help speed up the process. I do this by using chicken tenderloins. Chicken tenderloin is a smaller piece of meat from the underside of the chicken breast. It is relatively small in size and great for quick cooking. I usually get 8-10 pieces of chicken in one package. And for a dish like this, it is the perfect size and doesn’t require any additional cutting. After you’ve washed and dried the tenders, you can season them to your liking. Tenderloins do have a thick, tough white strip that running through them, this is actually “tendon??? and don’t worry about trying to remove it because it melts away as the tender cooks.
Another time saving tip for this dish is to use crumbled bacon in the sauce. If you are like me and cook bacon on the weekends, you should save any leftovers (let’s face it, there are never any leftovers so just make extra 🙂 ) and then crumble it and save it for flavoring during the week. Place it in a sealed container and it will last up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Remember a little goes a long way and to adjust your seasonings so that your dish doesn’t end up too salty.
With this dish I add the bacon to the vegetables after sauteing them. I just add a few tablespoons of the cooked, crumbled bacon bits. The smokiness from the bacon brings a long stewed flavor to the sauce. Then you can add your liquids, give it a stir, add the chicken and pop into a hot oven for 10 minutes. I like this with polenta, but you should choose your favorite side dish.
So if you are not great at hunting and gathering, and get hungry for a hearty chicken dish, grab some chicken tenders and vegetables from your local grocery store and make this flavorful quick Chicken Cacciatore.
Here’s the recipe … enjoy!