Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Able Chef's Cacciatore

There are so many things “wrong” about this version of cacciatore I had to put my name in front of it, lest I be accused of not knowing my cacciatore. Cacciatore should have mushrooms, but this one doesn’t. It should not have tomatoes, but mine does. It’s actually a family dinner that’s changed over the years and was easily adapted to healthy eating. Feel free to add other veggies- try yellow squash, green beans, frozen spinach or even cauliflower in place of the zucchini, or add a can of just about any vegetable or bean to stretch the recipe.

Serve it over whole wheat pasta, not that white stuff. We use Barilla whole wheat pasta at home. The thin spaghetti is almost indistinguishable from regular pasta and your heart will thank you. Makes 8 very hearty portions. Go ahead and cut the recipe in half if you need to. The chicken can be left in whole thighs or cut into bite-size pieces.

1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken, preferably thighs, well trimmed of fat.
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup sweet or Vidalia onions, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
½ cup or more water
2 or 3 tsp. dried oregano
Dash or two of cayenne powder or a few dried red pepper flakes (optional)
2 or 3 small to medium zucchini, sliced, about 4 cups
1 medium can sweet corn, drained or 10 oz. package frozen corn
1 medium can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1. In a large covered pan over medium high heat, gently sauté chicken on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add onions, peppers and garlic and continue sautéing for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.

2. Add crushed tomatoes, water and spices, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is almost tender, about 30 to 40 minutes for thighs.

3. Add zucchini, corn and beans, cover and simmer until zucchini is tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve over whole wheat pasta or brown rice. 225 calories, 5 g. fat, 25 g. protein and 6 g. fiber per serving, excluding pasta.

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