There’s nothing like revisiting an old receipe and seeing if you can make it better the second time around, is there? I first made this Chicken Cacciatore about a year ago and posted the recipe on my old blog, ‘The 8 Month Challenge’. Back then I had a very tight focus on my food intake and as I’d set myself strict limit of 1,800 kcal per day the meals I was cooking had to fit into that. Dinners were targeted to be around 700 to 800 kcal, allowing me a decent amount to spread across breakfast, lunch and other snacks.
Now that I have a renewed focus on eating healthier food, as I try to correct my weight gain over the last 6 months, I find myself going back to these older recipes as they were part of my success last year. Some of them will no doubt find themselves coming back up to the surface of the blog unchanged, as they are nice recipes that make good meals. Others will inevitably undergo some sort of metamorphosis as I try and improve on them or swap out some ingredients to make them healthier.
This Chicken Cacciatore recipe falls into the first bracket – I’ve followed the recipe pretty much exactly as it was first written and it still tastes great. As Michael pointed out you get a wonderful blend of saltiness from the pancetta (or bacon lardons in the most recent version) and earthiness from the mushroom. The chicken remains tender and succulent, helped by the fact it’s cooked in the tomato sauce as it reduces.
Served here with mashed potatoes and broccoli the whole dinner comes in at just over 700 calories – bang on target for the first day of a new challenge!
Inspired by Italy, this rich tomato, mushroom and herb sauce would be great with Chicken or probably other meats like rabbit or even pork.
- 2 Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breasts (around 150g each)
- 65 g Pancetta, cubed
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, crushed
- 100 ml White Wine
- 150 g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
- 200 g tinned Plum Tomatoes
- 1 tsp Tomato Puree
- 5 Sage Leaves
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Chopped Parsley
Heat 1 tbsp Olive Oil in a large, non-stick pan. Add the pancetta and fry for a few minutes, until crisp on the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon to ensure any fat remains in the pan.
Add the chopped onion, garlic and fresh herbs to the pan and fry until the onion starts to soften (3-4 minutes).
Place the whole Chicken Breasts on top of the onions and fry for a further 5 minutes, turning halfway, until the chicken is just starting to brown on the sides.
Remove the chicken to a side plate and turn up the heat. Pour in the wine and let it deglaze the pan and reduce slightly.
Lower the heat then add the pancetta, tomato purée, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms to the pan. Break up the tomatoes with the back of your spoon. Add a splash of water then cover the pan and cook the sauce for 20 minutes until it has thickened.
Add the chicken breasts back to the pan and cook for a further 15 minutes with the lid off, until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with the parsley when ready to take to the table.
The nutritional information shown below is for the Chicken Cacciatore on its own. When paired with Mashed Potatoes (250g raw weight per serving) and Broccoli (100g Raw Weight per serving) the whole meal will be under 700 kcal.
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