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Chicken Cacciatore

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts) Or 4 large (washed) portobello mushrooms, sliced in quarters

6-8 garlic cloves half roughly chopped, and half finely chopped

Two 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano but that shit's expensive) Red Gold is good, and so is Contadina

1 jar of tomato paste, Contadina is a great one, just use what you like

1 package of sliced portobello mushrooms, washed

One red or green bell pepper, you may also use green. You can also use both. :)

One teaspoon of red pepper flakes, can also be omitted. Then it won't be my sauce. Hmph!

One red onion, or shallot. When I use red onion I slice up one quarter, finely chopped

One teaspoon cinnamon

One tablespoon of dried Italian herbs

Fresh or dried oregano, about a teaspoon

About 1 1/2 teaspoons or garlic salt

1 teaspoon of fresh or dry basil. I use spicy red basil

1 teaspoon of sugar

Now the fun begins:

Take one can of the tomato paste and one can of the diced tomatoes, add them to the food processor along with, half the red onion, Roughly chopped garlic (not all the garlic), the basil, the herbs, garlic salt, sugar, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, dried oregano. Pulse until it is smoothly blended.

Take a large skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil (does not need to be extra virgin), and a pat of butter. Heat the skillet to medium-high.( I do not dredge my chicken0

Liberally season chicken pieces with garlic salt and crushed black pepper

When skillet is nice and hot, add the chicken pieces, cook for 3-6 minutes on each side.

Remove chicken, and set aside

Add a little more olive oil to the skillet.

This is where you saute the leftover bell pepper, then add the mushrooms about two minutes later, and saute for another two minutes.

Then you add the rest of the onion and garlic. Saute for about another minute and a half.

Add the other can of diced tomatoes, stir the mixture, and let that cook for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces.

Bring to a boil.

Add the sauce mixture from the food processor.

Bring to a boil. Let boil for about two minutes.

Lower the heat and let simmer for an hour. Make sure you stir/turn the chicken pieces occasionally.

Taste the sauce to make sure you don't need to add anything else. The sauce will be safe, I promise. :)

Add fresh parsley and basil leaves during the last five minutes.

You may also slice parmesan cheese potato skin sized chunks onto the dish, and (depending on your pan) turn your over on broil. Stick the pan in the until you see that the cheese is golden brown.

It adds a salty, crispy, and creamy twist to the meal.

I am a Midwest girl, it seems I am always turning something into a casserole. Ha

Now you are ready to eat. You may serve this with pasta but I like this dish on its own. Fabulous leftover.

Submitted by: Evilynn on December 9, 2011, 1:27 am

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