Hunter-Style chicken – the name might give an impression that this is a basic chicken dish, one that a Paleo-era hunter might cook while out at work. But the “hunter” term in this dish is actually derived from the Italian word “cacciatore” and describes a chicken that is cooked with tomatoes and mushrooms. This dish is a fantastic call back to the hearty Italian nights you may have enjoyed growing up, filled with Italian seasonings and flavor that show off the hearty side of the Mediterranean. This is a great, indulging week-night dish, simple in preparation but requiring a bit more work than you might expect from a quick meal. Although it does require some time, the flavor pay-off more than makes up for the commitment it takes to craft this delicious meal.
This dish calls for a mix of both fresh and dried seasonings. If you are short on time or fresh versions of these, dried seasoning can work if needed – just make sure to scale down your amounts and avoid using a generic Italian seasoning; this often hides unnecessary sodium and other unhealthy ingredients. The dish also includes both crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce – these are both easily found in your canned foods section; but, if you are feeling especially ambitious, you can make both from fresh tomatoes as well.
For a true Italian meal, pair this main course with a Paleo-friendly noodle – there’s a ton of options for these depending on your preferences. End this meal with a bowl of Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream for a gelato replacement that will make your mouth swoon.
Hunter-Style Chicken Recipe
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts;
- 1 garlic clove, minced;
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced;
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced;
- 2 tbsp. olive oil;
- Cooking fat;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
Hunter Sauce Ingredients
- 1 bell pepper, sliced;
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced;
- 1 onion, sliced;
- 2 garlic cloves, minced;
- 1/4 cup chicken stock;
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced;
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced;
- 2 tsp. dried thyme;
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes;
- 1 cup tomato sauce;
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes;
- 2 tsp. olive oil;
- In a bowl, combine the chicken, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil; season to taste.
- Melt some cooking fat (about 1/2 tbsp.) in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Brown the chicken 1 to 2 minutes on all sides and remove from skillet.
- Prepare the sauce in the same skillet. Lower the heat to prevent splattering, add olive oil for Hunter sauce, and re-heat skillet.
- Add the onion, garlic, mushroom, and bell pepper; cook until fragrant and soft (3 to 4 minutes).
- Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock – add to the skillet and stir while scraping the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and return the chicken to the skillet; simmer 12 to 15 minutes.
- Season dish with salt and pepper to taste; serve topped with leftover fresh herbs.