Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

by Meri on September 8, 2014

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I love my crockpot. No really…I LOVE it. I get this amazing feeling of satisfaction when dinner is ready to go at the end of the day, kitchen clean, and all we have to do is a few additional steps to get a healthy meal on the table. The crockpot is one of the most useful kitchen tools especially for busy days when you don’t have a lot of time to spare.

I never owned or used a crockpot before I had kids. I just thought they were something you used to make soups. My sister-in-law bought me one when the babies were born and my initial thoughts were… I guess she really thinks I’m going to need this. Yep…she was right. 

At first, I struggled because honestly, most crockpot recipes are ho-hum and nothing to write home about. After a while I found a few good recipes in a 70′s crockpot cookbook my mother-in-law gave me (sometimes you’ve got to stick with the classics). Then, I started playing around with my grandmother’s Chicken Cacciatore recipe. Keep in mind, her recipe is traditional with a rustic, full flavor so this doesn’t mimic her recipe at all. I had to change it significantly to become an easy crockpot friendly meal. Using white wine and rosemary gives this recipe a lighter flavor perfect for a week day meal. I typically serve this with a side salad and steamed veggie side like broccoli. 

I love recipes that use a tomato sauce because it’s comfort food for me. While many of you may have grown up with meatloaf and mashed potatoes as comfort food, my Italian family always had sauce simmering. The aroma of tomato sauce mixed with herbs, onions and garlic brings me enormous comfort and joy. As a dietitian I love that you can make something so simple that provides great health benefits. Cooked tomato products provide a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and the antioxidant Lycopene. 

Like all recipes, you can also change it up to make it your own. In my past experiments I’ve added green bell peppers, basil in place of the rosemary, red wine in place of white, tomato paste or omitted the mushrooms. They were all good…I just enjoy this particular version the best. Give it a try and see what you think!

 

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 4 chicken breasts or thighs
  3. 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  4. 1 small onion, chopped
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  7. 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  8. 1 cup dry white wine
  9. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  10. 1 to 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  11. 1 dried bay leaf
  12. 1-pound penne pasta
  13. Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. If using chicken breasts, cut in thirds so you have smaller chunks. Sprinkle the chicken with garlic salt. Brown the chicken pieces on each side. You don’t need to cook it through…just brown it.
  2. Place the chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms at the bottom of the crockpot. Layer the browned chicken over the onions.
  3. Add tomato sauce, wine and herbs. Cook for 6 to 8 hours, depending on your crockpot’s range.
  4. Before serving, cook pasta according to directions and serve with the chicken and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. Note: you can skip the browning step if you need to throw everything in the crockpot and go but the chicken won’t be as moist or retain as much flavor.
3 Tomatoes http://3tomatoes.net/

 

 

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

stefanie September 9, 2014 at 12:47 am

This is great Meri,

My mother used to make this all the time and it’s been years since I’ve had it. Looking forward to making it and having fond memories of my childhood :)

Thank you!

Reply

Meri September 9, 2014 at 1:21 am

Love it! Glad it’s a comfort food for you too…Let me know what you think!

Reply

Marcia September 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I cannot WAIT to try this. I seem to be using my crockpot a lot on the weekend. I’m also making a lot of soup on the weekend (but not in the crockpot). So yesterday we had soup, and it was in the 80s. Uhhh…

Anyway, I need to start my “Wednesday crock pot day” soon.

Reply

Meri September 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

So funny…I wanted to start a crockpot Wed too! I’m on board!

Reply

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