I don't usually post recipes until we've actually eaten it, but I've quite a few requests for this one so I thought I should get it up sooner rather than later. It doesn't hurt that Tom took one bite and asked for a bowl of it (he suggested I call it a hearty tomato soup in winter).
This actually started out as a freezer/once a month cooking recipe I found online...but as I started putting it together during my baking day, I realized I'd left a few things off my shopping list. I'm not even sure it's technically chicken cacciatore any more (the last time I had it, I think I was maybe 10), but it's definitely a good, simple, spicy tomato sauce. After a bit of scrambling and a lot of taste tests, this is what I came up with:
Easy Chicken Cacciatore
Makes enough for 2 meals for our family of 4
1-2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 large can of mushrooms 3 cans diced tomatoes
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried oregano
3 t. garlic powder (or a few cloves)
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
several cups of pulled chicken (although hubby dear said it would be perfectly fine without meat)
pasta or brown rice (cooked) for serving
parmesean cheese (optional)
- Saute diced onion and bell pepper in olive oil.
- Add mushrooms and seasonings, cook for a minute or two.
- Add 3 cans diced tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add in chicken and warm through.
- Serve over pasta or brown rice and a sprinkling of parmesean cheese.
Seriously, that's how easy and quick it is. Since I was planning on freezing it, I went ahead and just threw my chicken in the bottom of my freezer bag and ladled the sauce on top of it.
A couple of notes:
- Play around with the seasonings to find what you like. I tend to go a little heavy on garlic and I'm a little bit obsessed with red pepper flakes right now, but you could easily cut back on either of them.
- The mushrooms - I'm generally a fan of fresh anything, but for freezing I prefer canned mushrooms. Fresh ones just get funky in the freezer.
- I kind of feel the same way about frozen pasta. It doesn't take very long, so I'd rather wait until I'm serving to cook my pasta. I can also add a little bit of the pasta water to the sauce if I decide it needs to be thinned a bit when serving. I do find cooking my brown rice in a huge batch and freezing it in meal sized portions to work very well and also to be a huge time-saver for me.
- I might try blending this all next winter as a tomato soup (maybe without the mushrooms, though).
- Edited to add: When we had this for supper earlier this week, it was a 50/50 split on the pasta and brown rice. Tom and I loved the brown rice and the kids preferred the pasta. I don't normally serve both but since it was our first time, I wanted to experiment.
This recipe linked to:
Life As Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap
The Grocery Cart Challenge