This Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore is simple comfort food at its best. The key is to use bone-in chicken thighs in addition to breasts for extra flavor, and to use great quality tomatoes. The flavors really concentrate when it cooks all day, and the leftovers are even better! I love serving it over pasta or zucchini noodles!
Season both sides of the chicken thighs and breasts generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear for 4-5 minutes per side, until golden. You will likely have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Add to the slow cooker.
Using the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and add the peppers, onion, and garlic. Season with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add to the slow cooker.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook for 4-5 hours on high or for 7-8 on low.
Once finished, stir the handful of basil into the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta and garnish with fresh oregano and freshly grated parmesan.
*I used bone-in, skinless thighs, but you can use the thighs with the skin on for even more flavor. Same goes for breasts - if you use bone-in, skin on, your sauce will have even more flavor!
*Try to get really good quality Italian crushed tomatoes - it will make all the difference in your sauce. It's worth the few extra dollars!