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Raid-the-pantry Chicken Cacciatore

With Columbia under a blanket of snow, a trip to Gerbes or HyVee is not only unappealing, but a bit risky!  Therefore, one has to get a little creative with the usual ingredients.  But don't fear--this chicken cacciatore recipe is not only totally easy, it also uses ingredients most of us keep regularly stocked.  Plus, it has a warm, rustic quality that make it a great dish for a cold winter night. 


Raid-the-Pantry Chicken Cacciatore


Ingredients: 


  • 2 tbsp olive oil  

  • 2 chicken breast halves, halved crosswise

  • Salt & pepper

  • Flour (for dredging)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 1/2 onion, rough chopped

  • 1 bell pepper (red is traditional; recipe as photographed uses 1/2 green and 1/2 red)

  • 1 tsp dried leaf oregano

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • 1/2 c white wine

  • 1/2 c chicken stock

  • 1 can tomatoes (14.5 oz; I prefer the fire-roasted tomatoes)

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper

  • 1 tsbp capers, drained (optional)

  • Fresh parsley

  • Freshly shaved Parmesan


Directions:


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper the chicken; dredge in flour.  Place chicken in the olive oil and cook until lightly browned on both sides, 3-5 minutes per side.  Remove chicken, set aside on paper towel to drain excess oil. 

  2. Place garlic, onion, pepper, oregano, and basil into same skillet and cook until onions are soft, 3-5 minutes. 

  3. Add wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and capers.  Add chicken and let sauce simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. 

  4. Serve over pasta and garnish with parsley and Parmesan. 


Thoughts: 


My favorite pasta for this is whole-wheat spaghetti.  The flavor complements the spicy, capery sauce in a very rustic way, and the long spaghetti noodles really grab onto the sauce so you don't leave any behind. 


Tempeh makes a delicious substitution for chicken in this (particularly flax tempeh), and if veggie stock is used, makes for a great vegetarian version of this soup.  Vegan veggie stock would make it vegan-friendly, too! 


This recipe serves two but can be easily increased. 

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