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Take a trip to Italy without having to get on plane with this Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore! A rustic, classic Italian dish, this chicken cacciatore recipe is packed with flavourful chicken and veggies and a cinch to make in the Instant Pot! It’s also Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP.
Why Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore?
Chicken cacciatore was one of the first dishes I ever learned how to cook. I love how it’s both rustic and nutritious – a ‘no frills’ type of healthy dinner that’s easy to make.
It can also be incredibly filling, especially when served with a starch component. I like serving mine with the low FODMAP version of my Instant Pot “Garlic” Mashed Potatoes or brown rice noodles (low FODMAP but not Paleo or Whole30).
The first version of chicken cacciatore I learned how to cook was on the stove top, but I now prefer making it in the Instant Pot. Once everything is seared and sauteed, you can close the lid and let the IP do its magic. The chicken and veggies come out so tender and flavourful, and when served together with mashed potatoes or brown rice noodles – every bite is just divine.
The equipment I use to make this Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore includes:
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore: Ingredients and Tips for Success
I use bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe, but essentially any parts of the chicken can be used. If you plan to use other parts, adjust the cooking time accordingly per the Instant Pot Cooking Time Tables.
Regardless which parts you choose, be sure to dry them thoroughly with paper towels before searing. Then sprinkle generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Press saute on the Instant Pot and add 2 tbsp of garlic-infused olive oil. Once the display reads “Hot”, add half of the thighs, skin side down, and sear for 5 minutes or until the chicken skin releases from the pan – do not force it, or it will rip and look awful. Flip and sear on the other side for 2 minutes. Repeat for the remaining chicken thighs.
If you’re in a hurry, you can sear all of the chicken at one time on the stove top in a large skillet on medium high heat. However, if you do that, make sure to transfer all of the chicken’s juices from the pan to the pot when it is time to start the cooking cycle.
I love lots of vegetables in my chicken cacciatore! I add two red bell peppers, two large carrots, canned sliced mushrooms or king oyster mushrooms (depending on availability), and leek. A few things to note:
I first wrote this recipe using king oyster mushrooms; however, I am currently unable to locate them. I still love including mushrooms in this recipe, so I’ve substituted 1/2 cup of sliced canned mushrooms (about 1/2 of an 284 ml can). I only use 1/2 cup to prevent FODMAP stacking. If you decide to use canned, be sure to rinse them well before adding them as FODMAPs leach from the mushrooms into the brine during the canning process.
If you’re not concerned with FODMAPs, you could use 1 cup of sliced white button or cremini mushrooms instead.
To keep this recipe low FODMAP, I use 1/2 cup of finely chopped leek instead of onion. If you’re not worried about FODMAPs, feel free to substitute 1 medium sweet or white onion for the leek. Onions require more saute time than leek, so if you do decide to use onion, start the saute of the onion 2 minutes before stirring in the remaining veggies, and saute all of the veggies together for another 3 minutes.
Once the veggies are done sauteing, I hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot and stir in a 14 oz can of canned tomatoes including their juice. This not only provides a tomatoy component customary to chicken cacciatore but also provides some liquid to use to scrape any cooking debris off the bottom of the Instant Pot. It also adds to the liquid already in the pot created from the oil, chicken and veggie juices. I don’t add any other liquid as I find this to be a sufficient amount to successfully execute the recipe.
Some chicken cacciatore recipes call for tomato sauce, but mine does not as I like to keep it super rustic, and I love the flavour as it is. If you prefer more tomato flavour in your chicken cacciatore, you could add a canned tomato sauce (check for garlic or onion powder in the ingredients for low FODMAP) or strained tomatoes, but if you do so, due to their thicker nature you will probably want to add some chicken broth with the sauce avoid getting the dreaded burn error (dun dun DUN!).
To season my chicken cacciatore, I use 1 tbsp of my homemade Italian seasoning recipe (you can also use store-bought, of course), one extra tsp of oregano, bay leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper, which I add prior to starting the pressure cooking cycle. I add capers after the cooking cycle is completed, which add a yummy note of acidity (although, I think I forgot to add them when making the recipe for these photos…ooops!).
After the cooking cycle is completed, if you find that the sauce is not thick enough for your liking, remove the chicken to a platter and whisk together 2 tbsp of tapoica flour (a.k.a. tapoica starch) with 2 tbsp of cold water to make a slurry. Hit “Saute” on the Instant Pot, wait a few seconds for the liquid to start boiling, and then slowly stir in the slurry. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens to your liking. Hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot and serve the sauce over the chicken.
Chicken cacciatore is often served over pasta. If you prefer not to eat pasta, it also goes well with my Instant Pot “Garlic” Mashed Potatoes (Paleo, Whole30, low FODMAP option). We typically eat it over brown rice spaghetti noodles, which I love, but they’re not Paleo or Whole30 compliant (they are low FODMAP and gluten-free, though). You could also serve it over carrot noodles (Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP), white or brown rice (low FODMAP and gluten-free) or cauliflower rice (Paleo and Whole30 but not low FODMAP).
Take a trip to Italy with this Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore! A rustic, classic Italian dish, this chicken cacciatore recipe is packed with tender, flavourful chicken and veggies and a cinch to make in the Instant Pot! It’s also Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP.
Gather all the ingredients. You can chop all the veggies before starting to cook, or you can chop them while the chicken is searing (14 minutes if doing it in the Instant Pot).
Dry chicken thighs well with paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
Press the “Saute” button on the Instant Pot and add the garlic-infused olive oil to the pot. Once the display reads “Hot,” ensure the oil is fully covering the bottom of the pot. Using tongs, add half of the thighs, skin side down, and sear for 5 minutes or until the chicken skin releases easily from the pot (do not rip off the bottom of the pot). Flip and sear on the other side for 2 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and follow the same steps for the remaining thighs. If you’re in a hurry, you can sear all 8 thighs at the same time in a large skillet on medium high heat on the stove.
After all the chicken thighs are fully seared and removed to a plate, add the bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms, and leek and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
Hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot. Pour in the diced tomatoes with their juice and scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon.
Add 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp oregano, 3 bay leaves, 1 ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper to the pot and gently stir.
Place the chicken in one layer (it will be tight, but you can do it!), skin side up, on top of the veggies and broth. Using a spatula, scrape any juices the chicken left on the plate into the pot (leave no flavour behind!). Close the lid, set the pressure release valve to “Sealing,” hit the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button, and set the timer for 15 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure. Using tongs, remove the chicken to a platter or bowl. Using an instant read thermometer, check the temperature of the thickest piece of chicken (without touching the bone). Chicken must be at least 165° F (75° C) to be safely consumed.
If you’d like to thicken the sauce, whisk 2 tbsp tapioca flour with 2 tbsp of cold water in a small bowl or measuring cup to make a slurry. Hit “Saute” on the Instant Pot and wait until the liquid begins to boil (this should only take a few seconds). While gently stirring, slowly add the slurry to the pot and stir until the sauce is to your desired thickness. Hit Cancel on the Instant Pot; add chicken to the pot and cover with the sauce and veggies OR pour the sauce and veggies on top of the chicken on the platter or bowl. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or basil (optional).
Serve the chicken cacciatore on its own or over potatoes like the low FODMAP option of my Instant Pot “Garlic” Mashed Potatoes (Paleo, Whole30, low FODMAP), brown rice spaghetti noodles (low FODMAP and gluten-free), carrot noodles (Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP), white or brown rice (low FODMAP and gluten-free), or cauliflower rice (Paleo, Whole30).
*If you are not concerned with FODMAPs, substitute 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic for the garlic-infused olive oil, white button or cremini mushrooms for the canned or king oyster mushrooms, and 1 medium chopped onion for the leek if desired. Start the saute of the onion 2 minutes before stirring in the remaining veggies, and saute for another 3 minutes.
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