Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Need an idea for dinner? How about chicken cacciatore?

If you've been paying attention, you know this girl loves to eat. Since I'm back in the real world now (aka postpartum), I have to start paying more attention to what I'm eating so I can get rid of the extra donut and milkshake weight I picked up while I was expecting. Obviously, the easy cheesy/noodley/mystery casseroles that I love to make are on the no-no list, so I have had to pick up some new ideas.

A few weeks ago we were eating at my Pops' house (see the pic to the right; that's me and Pops a couple Christmases ago). We're pretty much face twins. Anyways, while we were there my kiddos tore into the chicken cacciatore like they'd never seen food before. I got the bright idea to ask Pops for the recipe so the kids could (hopefully) do the same thing at our dinner table. Chicken Cacciatore, which is neither cheesy nor noodley, is a healthy and cheap dinner! It's very easy to put together, it's versatile and kid-friendly. This are all basically requirements of anything I put on the dinner table. I made this dish last night; once our dinner was photographed and facebooked in traditional fashion - I got a few requests for the recipe. Apparently other people need to know what's good for dinner, too! So, without holding you in suspense any longer, I'll tell you how it goes!

What you need: 
  • A bunch of random chicken pieces. We get the big pack of thighs. They are cheap and pretty stinkin' delicious. Don't use boneless/skinless chicken breasts in this recipe. Just don't, and you know why.
  • Veggies. I use potatoes (peeled and quartered); carrots (peeled and cut into chunks - or baby carrots if you're in a hurry or just don't feel like peeling and chopping any more food); any other veggies - peas, onion, zucchini, etc. 
  • Pasta sauce. I know you're reading, Pops, and you need to skip to the next ingredient so I don't get in trouble. Here's the deal, our family has an awesome homemade pasta sauce recipe. I use it when I'm making spaghetti and other traditional recipes, I really, really do. Pops' original recipe calls for a sauce made from scratch. However, I've been using Barilla's garlic and mushroom jarred sauce in this recipe. I have four kids, remember? I hope that gets me a homemade pasta sauce pass for some recipes. Use one jar for this recipe unless you're scared of Pops, then make it from scratch.
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper.
What you do: 
  • Preheat your oven to 350. 
  • Layer your ingredients in a 9x13 glass baking dish as follows: potatoes/veggies, cover entirely with sauce (and water if they aren't totally covered by the sauce); add chicken on top of veggies. 
  • Drizzle olive oil on top of the chicken; season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Slide it in the oven for two hours.
  • When your timer goes off, remove the pan from the oven (carefully) and start serving it up! 
Enjoy! I hope you love this recipe. We sure do. And, if you buy the big pack of chicken thighs, it's enough for two meals or to serve company. 

Take care!!

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