My mother was an incredible cook, but nothing could get me to eat her chicken cacciatore--or anyone else's, for that matter. Just looking at a piece of chicken with skin on and tomato sauce on top of it made me weak in the knees. Add to that the fact that mom put peas in her cacciatore and there was no way in hell that it was ever going to pass my lips.
In more recent years, I have eaten a version of chicken cacciatore made with boneless, skinless breasts, but it was only because I was watching my weight and this enabled me to eat at an Italian restaurant without using my week's worth of calories. But I am a thigh girl, and so when I saw a recipe in this month's Cooking Light for a cacciatore using skinless, on the bone thighs, I had to give it a try. Here is the recipe I used, adapted somewhat for my taste.
8 bone in chicken thighs, skinned (about 2 1/2 lbs)
salt and pepper
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped (2-3 stalks)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 1/3 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper. Add 2 tsp oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add 4 chicken thighs to pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan, add 2 more teaspoons of oil and repeat.
Add remaining 2 tsp of oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add peppers, onions, celery, rosemary, garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook 8 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add marinara sauce and cook 1 more minute.
Spread vegetable mixture in bottom of a 9 X 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Nestle thighs on top of mixture and bake for 30 minutes (until thermometer inserted into chicken registers 160 degrees). Sprinkle with cheese. To round out the meal, serve atop 1/2 cup of penne rigate.
This was a delicious dinner that came together very quickly. I did all the chopping earlier in the day which made it a cinch to put together and cook in under 45 minutes. The sauce was very abundant and sweet from the combination of peppers and onions (since I made just 4 thighs, I have sauce left over for another dinner). I will make this dinner again and soon. It was filling, healthy, and came in at 11 points plus (plus 2 more for 1/2 cup of pasta).
N.I. (without pasta): 352 cal; 15.5 g fat; 32.9 g prot; 36.3 g carb; 3.2 g fiber