Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Chicken Cacciatore

Since joining Weight Watchers, I've made this recipe about 3 or 4 times.  We love it.  In fact, since cooking with a lot more vegetables, both my husband and I agree that eating spaghetti with plain old jarred tomato sauce is not filling and kind of "blah".  This doesn't take much time and I find that using frozen vegetables in most dishes is easy and just as tasty.

Chicken Cacciatore (took this out of the Week 1 book)
Serves:  1 (double, triple or quadruple recipe based on your needs)
Points:  8
(Red writing is my Shaw's price babble)

1 tsp Olive Oil (If you don't have, hook up the Bonelli BOGO free sale this week)
1 tsp minced garlic ($1)
2 Tbsp chopped onion ($1 for 2 lbs)
1/4 cup chopped green peppers (we use frozen - $1.33 for the Shaw's bag.)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms ($1 per pack)
4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast ($1.88/lbs at Shaw's this week)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (we get a flavor to give it more umph.  Nothing on sale this week, so scope out the isle.  A 15 oz. can is 1 1/2 cups.  A 28 oz can is 3 cups.  We usually store the remaining of a 28 oz can in a plastic container in the fridge). 
1 cup cooked spaghetti (I use the Ronzoni Smart Taste that is $1 a box this week - with coupon at

Cost:  ??  If you had to buy all these ingredients, you'd have enough supplies to make this dish 2 or 3 times (and then some).

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic, onion, peppers and mushrooms.  Saute 4 minutes until mushrooms release their juice.  Add chicken.  Saute until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, simmer 15 minutes.  Place spaghetti in a shallow bowl.  Top with chicken and vegetable mixture.

Other Notes:
-  You really can't freeze mushrooms without them going gross (so says google searches I've done on it).  Mushrooms can last a while if stored properly though in the refridgerator.
-  I've made up bags of garlic, onion and peppers already measured out and froze them together.  That way I just add mushrooms to it.  Makes the prep work a little easier. 
-  I never buy frozen chopped onion, but I always chop and freeze onions laying around the house. 

Another thing I have learned since this whole "healthy eating" kick of mine - I used to always use 1 lbs of meat in every dish I made no matter what.  But now, I find that I'm only using 8 oz in most recipes.  When I buy, say a 3 lbs pack of chicken, I just cut it all up in pieces and freeze in 6 Ziplock freezer bags.  So even though I'm spending more on vegetables, I'm stretching our meat consumption.  I'm finding it sort of evens out in the budget aspect.

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