Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore

Per this book, "true chicken cacciatore is a smooth tomato wine sauce flavored with only onion, mushrooms and garlic."  After reading this, I decided to give it a try.  Though not in the "Quick & Easy" category, it is definitely worth making.

Serves - 4  /  Serving Size 2 thighs
Preparation Time: 40-45 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes

8 (4 oz each) skin on, bone-in chicken thighs [prefer using 2 boneless, skinless breasts cut into thirds]
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tblspn all-purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine (dry Chianti works well)
1/2 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth [used homemade chicken broth]
2  14-1/2 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained [only used one can]
1 Tblspn fresh minced thyme
1 cup fresh chopped basil

1.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large sauté  pan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat until shimmering and almost smoking.  Add the chicken in two batches, skin side, down, until well browned, about 5-6 minutes.  Turn over the thighs and brown for another 5-6 minutes.  Repeat with the second batch of chicken.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

2.  Drain off all but 2 tsp of the fat.  Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and sauté  minimally for about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Sprinkle the onion and mushrooms with the flour until the flour is incorporated into the vegetables, about 30 seconds.

3.  Add in the wine, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Remove the skin from each piece of chicken.  Discard the skin.  Add the chicken to the pan, nestling it in the sauce.   Lower the heat and simmer the chicken for about 30 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the sauce, place on a plate, and tent with foil.  Raise the heat and add the thyme and additional salt and pepper, as desired.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until thick.  Add in the fresh basil.  Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Exchanges/Choices: 4 vegetable  /  3 lean meat  /   2 fat
Calories - 330                         Sodium - 450mg
   Calories from Fat - 115       Total Carbs - 20g   w/net carbs - 16g
Total Fat - 13.0g                        Dietary Fiber - 4g
   Saturated Fat - 3.5g                 Sugar - 9g
   Trans Fat - 0.0g                    Protein - 30g
cholesterol - 90mg

Source:  The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS


  • Since I prefer using boneless, skinless chicken breast, it made making this dish that much easier to prepare - just cut the breast into thirds.  Because of the quick searing, the chicken was still tender and moist.  More importantly, didn't have to mess with removing the skin after cooking and no bone to have to cut around.
  • I bought whichever mushrooms were the cheapest.  So you might have to cut the slices in half, big deal.
  • For a meal for two, you can definitely get by with one can of tomatoes.
  • No fresh thyme, dried worked just fine.  Another herb I plan on growing this year (along with basil).
  • You've probably discovered an underlying motto with most of these recipes, make it work with what you have in your pantry or freezer.  Now, I do realize there are some ingredients that really are a "make or break" deal, so you choose which ones are the most important and most cost-efficient for you.

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