Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore With Mushrooms and Bacon

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore With Mushrooms and Bacon

Cacciatore means “hunter style” in Italian, and this is a slow cooker riff on that classic Italian braise, which usually features chicken or rabbit with lots of peppers, tomatoes and wine. In this recipe, the mushrooms, bacon and wine give the finished dish a deep and delicious savoriness. The bacon does triple duty: It provides most of the fat in the recipe, it suffuses the dish with smoky flavor, and its little crispy bits hold up nicely over the long simmer. As the dish cooks, the vegetables release their juices, which don’t evaporate in the slow cooker, so this may be a more stew-like cacciatore. This makes it delicious served over pasta or polenta or in a bowl served with a hunk of crusty bread to sop up the juices. To serve it as a hoagie or submarine sandwich, use a slotted spoon to scoop the chicken and sauce onto the rolls.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Fry the bacon in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and the fat is rendered, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker, leaving the fat behind in the skillet. Add the mushrooms to the fat in the skillet and let them cook over medium-high, stirring only a few times, until the mushrooms have shrunk, released their liquid and started to lightly brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and tomato paste. Pour in the wine and let it come to a bubble, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Scrape the mixture into the slow cooker.
  2. Step 2

    Add the onion, bell pepper, roasted peppers, tomatoes, capers, vinegar, oregano, red-pepper flakes and garlic powder to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the chicken, season with 1 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of pepper and stir to combine. Cook on low until the chicken is very tender and the flavors are blended, about 4 hours. (At this point, the dish holds well on the warm setting for several hours.)
  3. Step 3

    Using two forks, break the chicken up into large chunks. Stir in the parsley and let it warm through. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve over polenta or pasta or in hoagie rolls, if desired, or alone in bowls. Top with basil and Parmesan.