Quick because ground chicken!
I think for lots of families, Italian-American types of meals taste familiar, feel easy to make, but feel slightly more special than, say, seared chicken breast with veggies and a baked potato, kind of what I think of as a “normal” American meal, if there is even such a thing. Italian flavors seem to fit the bill of appealing to kids and adults alike, not featuring any ingredients that are too weird or hard to find, and being super delish to ME, which is why we’re all here anyway. My preferences.
Italian dishes are definitely up there as one of our absolute favorites, and a cacciatore dish is even better because it has enough veggies and protein to serve as 2 meal components. Regular spaghetti is wonderful, of course, but sometimes it feels like it’s lacking in the veggie department. I made this cacciatore with tons of peppers and mushrooms and used ground white meat chicken for quick cooking and a light feel. Cacciatore I think usually has bone-in, skin-on chicken, which is delicious and wonderful, but takes way longer to cook and then you have to make a personal choice about whether or not to eat the chicken skin. I always err on the side of DO, and this dish takes that decision away from you. It’s light, full of flavor, and super quick to make.
You need ground chicken, mushrooms (these are cremini and shiitake), onion, garlic, rosemary (fresh or dried is fine), a red bell pepper, a green bell pepper, chicken stock, capers, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, and white wine. Probably some salt and crushed red pepper. I do just bread to serve this, but it’s great with rice and buttered pasta, too.
Start by browning the ground chicken in a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Break it up with a spoon as you go, and sprinkle it with salt when it has browned slightly.
While the chicken is working, prep the veggies. I thinly slice everything so that it cooks and softens fairly quickly but still is bite-sized, rather than chopping where the veggies disappear into the sauce.
When the chicken has browned, add the mushrooms to the pan.
Stir the mushrooms for about 3 minutes to brown them and soften them slightly, then add the peppers and onions to the skillet. Do the same thing; stir for a few minutes to soften the veggies.
When the veggies have softened just slightly (they’ll keep cooking as we build the sauce), add the garlic and rosemary. Stir that for one minute, then add the wine to the skillet.
Let the wine bubble and reduce just a little bit, then crush the tomatoes right into the sauce. Add the stock and capers, then stir the dish together.
All that’s left is to turn the heat down on the skillet to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir it every once in awhile, and splash in some water or more stock if the sauce gets dry or overly thick. It should be saucy but not soupy.
Right before serving, taste the sauce and add salt to your preference – how much will depend on how salty your tomatoes and stock are, so add pinches here and there until it tastes great.
Cacciatore! Tangy, healthy, quick.
Rice/pasta/bread goes great with this, a salad if you’re an overachiever, and some fresh parsley or parmesan wouldn’t kill anything if you have some lying around.
There’s something about the flavor in this dish that I could eat every single day. The peppers and the mushrooms work so well together, and the tomato sauce with chicken is so nice and light that the veggies end up being the star of the show. Enjoy this one!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 6 cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 2 bell peppers (any color you like), sliced
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried), chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 15 ounces canned whole tomatoes and their juices, crushed with your hands
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- salt, to taste
- bread, pasta, or rice, for serving
Preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, breaking up with a spoon as you go, for about 5 minutes until the chicken is brown and cooked through.
Add the mushrooms and stir for 3 minutes to brown and soften.
Add the peppers and onions and stir for 3 minutes to soften.
Add the garlic and rosemary and stir for 1 minute, then pour the wine into the skillet. Let the wine bubble and reduce by about half, then add the tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, stock, and capers. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft but not mushy and the sauce has thickened slightly.
If the sauce thickens or seems dry, add small splashes of water or stock to loosen it. Before serving, taste the sauce and add more salt to your preference.
Serve as desired. Enjoy!