What do you do with all that garden surplus of peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic? Think of a dish which can put that harvest to work plus make use of an abundance of herbs and frozen chicken breasts. You can't go wrong with Chicken Cacciatore. This robust Italian dish uses them all while satisfying our craving for something from a nation that manages, time and again, to arouse our deepest culinary desires.
I love making this for my husband. He doesn't need a heap of mozzarella or Parmesan cheese to enjoy the dish — in fact, it has no cheese in our house. Chicken Cacciatore offers an abundance of lycopene with a healthy portion of protein and additional antioxidants found in the peppers. Adding it to your recipe collection is an offer you just can't refuse whether you choose to serve it over pasta or not. Even if you don't have a garden surplus, this dish is easy to make with economical seasonal ingredients. Traditionally, chicken thighs are used, but I went for the lower-fat chicken breasts.
I made a huge batch recently for a going-away luncheon for a colleague in my husband's firm. It just seemed appropriate for the departing attorney of Italian heritage.
It was also appropriate as I could make enough for 14 people in my big Cuisinart electric skillet. It would be a fast fix and put my homegrown vegetables to work, cooking up some big Italian flavor at the same time. Start to finish, even with trimming a tiny amount of fat from some boneless chicken breasts and cutting them in half to a perfect luncheon size, it took me about 35 minutes.
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