Ok, so we’re using one of my favorite ingredients again–tomatoes! I love tomatoes just about any way you make them and this recipe is no exception. It’s healthy, low calorie, and if you use gluten free noodles, the dish can be gluten free as well. I don’t use the butter on the noodles so this recipe is dairy free for those who are lactose intolerant. There’s no reason why you can’t use up leftover rotisserie chicken or even turkey in this recipe either. I think it would be a fine alternative.
The first time I sampled this delicious dish was at a progressive dinner during the Christmas holidays. The couple who brought it, Rick and Tina Mabie, were in the catering business in Milford, Massachusetts, and they made a lot of incredible stuff. Tina Mabie was the one who first got me started using herbs in cooking, particularly rosemary. I had never used it before tasting it in her delicious potato dish. Rick created this Chicken Cacciatore recipe and I make only a few changes to it. Also, the recipe is for a really large amount, so you will have to cut it down significantly unless you have a family of 15 or 16! But it’s a great dish to take to potlucks since it makes so many servings.
We serve Chicken Cacciatore over spaghetti noodles, but you can probably use any kind of noodle you prefer. Rick adds a can of water in making his recipe. I think this is too soupy so I omit it. Instead of water, I would recommend adding a small can of diced tomatoes to this recipe. If you are trying to use up garden tomatoes adding a few diced tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes would work excellently. I’m going to provide pictures of how I actually made it which is a little different from Rick’s directions. I was trying to eliminate having multiple pots and pans to wash (laziness, I know), so I did everything in my Dutch oven.
This is what the Chicken Cacciatore looks like.
This is what it looks like on the plate.
Here’s a close up look.
Here’s what I did.
Put a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of your Dutch oven and heat on medium heat.
This is what I used. I decreased Rick’s recipe by a little more than half.
Wash and slice mushrooms and place in hot olive oil in Dutch oven to sauté.
Chop up a large onion.
Add onion to Dutch oven to sauté.
Chop up a couple of green peppers in 1-inch pieces.
Add green peppers to Dutch oven and sauté.
Rick’s recipe only called for a clove or two of garlic (for a half batch). We like garlic. I put in two tablespoonfuls of chopped garlic.
Add garlic to Dutch oven and sauté with other vegetables.
Cut up chicken breasts in 1-inch pieces.
This is what it looks like. Be sure to clean your bread board and knife with hot soapy water very well or run through dishwasher before using again to avoid salmonella poisoning or other bacteria transfer.
Scoot vegetables to one side of the Dutch oven. Add chicken pieces and sauté.
Cook chicken about 5 minutes on each side. Don’t cook all the way through. It will be simmering on the stove and cook completely then.
Once chicken has cooked about 3-5 minutes on each side add crushed tomatoes.
Add a 15-oz. can of diced tomatoes (undrained), and seasonings.
Simmer cacciatore for 45 minutes on top of stove.
Cook spaghetti noodles.
Cook and drain spaghetti according to package directions.
To serve, place spaghetti noodles on a plate.
With a soup ladle, spoon out Chicken Cacciatore over the noodles.
Here’s another view.
Here’s the recipe with my modifications at the end.
(Recipe from Rick Mabie, when we attended Christ Baptist Church, Upton, MA)
(This recipe serves about 15-16 people, cut in half for a family meal)
4 ½ lbs. boneless chicken breasts (I used 4 boneless chicken breasts)
2 cans Pastene kitchen ready crushed tomatoes (28-oz. size) (I used 1 can)
2 huge onions, cut in half and then sliced (I used 3/4 of a large onion)
6 large green peppers, cut in ½” strips (I used 2 large green peppers)
16-oz. mushrooms, fresh (I used 8-oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms)
1 tsp. salt (I recommend using the whole amount even for a half recipe. I use Kosher salt)
4 cloves garlic, chopped (I used 2 tbsp. chopped garlic from a jar).
1 tsp. pepper (I recommend using the whole amount of pepper even for a half batch)
1 tsp. oregano (I recommend using the whole amount of oregano even if making a half batch)
1 tsp. basil (I recommend using the whole amount of basil even if making a half batch)
Olive oil (I used a couple of tablespoons)
2 lbs. spaghetti (I used a 13.25-oz. pkg.)
15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (my addition – see my note at the bottom regarding diced tomatoes with green chilies)
Fry bite-size pieces of chicken in hot olive oil (use a large Dutch oven or roaster container for this amount). Cook until firm – not cooked all the way through. Remove and put garlic in with a tablespoon of hot olive oil. After 1 minute add both cans of tomatoes. (Rick added a tomato cans of water here. I think it makes the recipe too soupy, so I omit that and instead substitute a can of diced tomatoes). Add seasonings. Turn on high and simmer 15 minutes. I separate pan fry onions in tablespoon olive oil until softened. Remove onions from pan and add to tomatoes in Dutch oven. If necessary add more olive oil to skillet and fry green peppers the same way. Remove from pan and add to tomatoes in Dutch oven. Fry mushrooms in skillet and when finished add to tomatoes in Dutch oven. Add chicken and cook about 45 minutes on medium heat until done. Serve over cooked, drained, buttered spaghetti noodles. Serves 15 or 16.
TERESA’S DIRECTIONS: Dice onion or cut in strips, chop green pepper in 1-inch pieces, slice mushrooms, cut meat in 1-inch pieces. Place olive oil in Dutch oven. Add mushrooms, then onion, then green pepper and let cook a few minutes. Set to one side of pan and add chicken. Cook chicken on both sides about 3-5 minutes per side. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and cook over medium heat about 45 minutes. Serve over spaghetti noodles. My amounts serve 6-8.
TERESA’S NOTES: I recommend using the full amounts of the spices for the half batch and doubling them if you are making the whole batch. You may want to increase them even more. Taste and sample, and add more if desired. Another option if you want to add a little zip to this recipe is to used diced tomatoes with green chilies instead of plain diced tomatoes.
Here’s another look at the Chicken Cacciatore on a plate.
A close up view.
Time to eat!