Chicken Cacciatore


A month ago I went to an amazing spice shop in Chicago and found myself some real treasures.  One was some italian seasoning.  It’s the perfect blend of basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, and salt.  I’ve thrown it in sauce, but it made this chicken cacciatore out of this world.  So go to your local spice shop for your own blend and make this recipe tonight.  You will not be disappointed.


Chicken Cacciatore
8 chicken thighs
3 tbs italian seasoning
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs tomato paste
2/3 c red wine
2/3 c chicken broth
2/3 c water

Preheat a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Coat the pot with just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Season chicken thighs with 2 tbs italian seasoning.  Add chicken thighs in 2 batches to the pot.  Let brown on each side, but not cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Remove chicken thighs and set aside.  Add pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic, and remaining 1 tbs of italian seasoning.  Cook until vegetables start to soften about 3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate.  Add red wine while scrapping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot then add chicken stock and water.  Place chicken back in pot, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 30 minutes, then serve.


Chicken Pot Pie


Now that you made the roast chicken, what do you do with the leftovers?  Chicken salad sandwiches, Asian chicken salad, or chicken pot pie!  The possibilities may be endless, but this is the most delicious.  Seriously, what’s better than bacon and gravy in a pie crust?

Food 030

Chicken Pot Pie
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices of bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dry)
1 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups (about 14 ounces) cooked chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
prepared refrigerated pie crust

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and onto a paper towel-lined pate. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves and thyme to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine to make gravy. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked bacon and chicken. Simmer for 3 minutes until heated through. Prepare a pie dish with non-stick cooking spray then place prepared pie crust in dish.  Using a ladle, fill the pie dish with filling then place other pie crust on top.  Roll the edge of the top pie crust to meet the lower crust. Using a knife make slight perforations in the crust to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, 30 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables


Nothing makes your house smell as homey as a roast chicken.  It’s aroma is like a big warm hug for your soul.  The best part is that it’s also super easy, throw it all in one pot and cook for an hour and a half.  It doesn’t get much better than this, try it this weekend for a dinner with your family or friends.

Food 029

Roast Chicken with Vegetables
1 4-5 lb chicken
1/2 lemon, chopped in half
4 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs, plus 1 tbs rosemary
4 tbs olive oil, separated
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into half
2 celery stalks, chopped in half
1 onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
1 c water
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the chicken in a large roasting pan or pot.  Stuff the lemon, thyme, rosemary sprigs into the cavity of the chicken.  Using your hands spread 2 tbs of olive oil over the chicken skin then sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.  In a large bowl toss the remaining 2 tbs of olive oil with the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Arrange vegetables around the chicken then pour water in the pan.  Roast until the chicken registers at 160 to 165 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours.  Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes then carve and enjoy.