Sunday, 1 June 2014

Recipe - chicken cacciatore

This is a favourite of ours and another great recipe full of fresh vegetables. If you don't eat meat it would be tasty with tofu or lentils for protein instead. You can cook it in around 45 minutes but this is a meal that's very hard to overcook- leave it bubbling for an hour to really intensify the flavours if you wish. 

What you'll need:
500g chicken thigh or breast fillets (or equivalent in tofu or lentils for veggie option)
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic or 2 tsps minced garlic
2 stalks celery
2 large carrots
1/2 red capsicum (bell pepper)
4 large flat mushrooms
2 large fresh tomatoes
1 400g can diced tomatoes
a jar of good quality pasta sauce or if you wish to make your own, more tomatoes & tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme or whatever you choose)
a handful of pitted kalamata olives
a slop of red wine
some fresh basil or parsley for serving
cooked penne pasta (preferably whole wheat or low GI pasta)

Dice your chicken and brown in a large heavy based pot along with your onion, garlic, a sprinkle of dried herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.  As its cooking, dice the carrots, capsicum and celery finely. Throw it all in the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and the chicken no longer pink.

Add a slop of red wine to deglaze the base of the pan and then add diced mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes and a jar of pasta sauce (alternatively add 2 cans of tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of pasta sauce and about a cup of chicken stock). 

If all of your family eats olives then add them now. If you are like my family where not everyone is a fan, save them for serving :)

Add the bay leaves, the rest of the dried herbs, balsamic vinegar, season with black pepper and simmer for 30 minutes or so until sauce is thickened.

In the meantime cook your pasta - choose low GI varieties like wholemal pasta, and remember to keep serving sizes small. If pasta is not on your menu (it isn't for me) then consider eating yours over a plate of fresh green baby spinach leaves or even by itself with a spoon!

To serve top with shaved fresh parmesan and fresh torn basil leaves.
Serves 4-6

Bon appetit !

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

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