Speedy chicken cacciatore

chicken cacciatoreChicken cacciatore usually takes about 1 1/2 hours to cook, but borrowing cooking techniques from the Chinese (cut everything into bite-sized pieces and start by stir frying) and using your time efficiently, you can have this on the table in about half an hour.

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ large onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cups pre-made tomato-based pasta sauce
  • 1 tsp minced rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8 -oz canned sliced mushrooms
  • 1 15-0z can black olives
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

 Heat a large skillet over high very heat.  Add 2 tsp olive oil.  While skillet is heating up, pat chicken dry and cut into large bite-sized pieces.  When oil is hot, add chicken and stir fry until brown (about three minutes).  Between stirs, dice onion; remove stem and seeds from, and dice, pepper; peel and mince garlic.  When chicken is lightly browned, turn heat down to medium-high, add cut vegetables, stir fry for about three minutes, until onion is translucent.  While vegetables are cooking, mince herbs (except bay leaf) and open the cans of mushrooms and olives.  Drain mushrooms and olives.  Add pasta sauce, herbs, pepper flakes, mushrooms and olives to the pan, stir well.  Turn heat to medium low and cover.   Chicken will cook about 15 minutes more.

 Fill a large pot ½ full of hot water and bring it to boil over hight heat.  Lightly salt and add 1 tsp oil.  Add 1 pound dried spaghetti.  Set timer to 10 minutes.  Stir pasta occasionally to prevent sticking.

 While spaghetti and chicken are cooking, set the table, pour wine, have a glass of wine yourself.  Make a salad if you want.  When the timer goes off, turn off the heat under the pasta pot.  Chop parsley and grate cheese (if not purchased pre-grated).

 Drain cooked spaghetti, spoon into serving plates/bowls and top with chicken mixture.  Sprinkle parsley and cheese on top and serve.  Makes 6-8 servings depending upon how hungry you are.

 

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