Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cheap Eats: Chicken Cacciatore

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Take these awesome and nutritious ingredients ...

Brown the chicken parts in a little olive oil ...

Throw all ingredients (except polenta) in a slow cooker
for several hours ... 

Serve over polenta and Enjoy!

Slow-Cooked Chicken Cacciatore Recipe  (also available here)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds chicken parts, skin removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, cut into 2-inch-long strips
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 package polenta

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on all sides.

2 .Stir the garlic, Italian seasoning, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, pepper and 1 cup broth in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the chicken and turn to coat.

3. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the cooker, cover and keep warm.

4.Stir the cornstarch and remaining broth in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture in the cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 10 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Serve with the chicken and polenta.

For dessert, I made blueberry mini bundt cakes.  I started a recipe from Sunset magazine (December 2010) and made a few substitutions since I didn't have any cranberries on hand.  Here is my version. 

There's always room for dessert!

Mini Bundts Recipe
(Modified from this Sunset Magazine recipe)

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
Cooking-oil spray
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean pod
Blueberry Preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat mini Bundt pan with cooking spray.

2. Beat butter, 3 oz. cream cheese, and 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides; add eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on medium until blended, scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to batter and beat on low speed just until blended.

4. Fill each Bundt cup with batter about 3/4 full.

5. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in thickest part comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes from pan, using a small spatula if necessary to loosen them. Trim cake edges if you like.

6. Spoon blueberry jam into center hole of each bundt cake.

7. Beat remaining 2 oz. cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar. Slit vanilla bean pod lengthwise and gently scrape out seeds with a small spoon into cream cheese mixture. Add 5 tsp. water and beat until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over slightly warm cakes.  Top with a small dollop of blueberry preserves.

Everything was a big hit.  All of the chicken was gone leaving enough sauce leftover for pasta later in the week.  My dad ate three bundt cakes for dessert!!  Must've been tasty. 
3/28/11 Update:  Linking up to Todays Creative Blog and

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