Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quick Chicken Cacciatore

Wow how the weekend flew by! It's already Tuesday?! I'll start where I left off... Saturday.

I slept in a little Saturday morning. It was so warm and cozy cuddling with Bailey! I just wanted to stay there all day. My stomach got the better of me and I eventually got out of bed around 9. After going for a little walk with Bailey I made myself banana oats. It was a perfect morning!

Later that day Matt came home! Completing our little family. Bailey and I were so happy to see him! Because of my late morning (and not knowing if Matt had a meal on the plane or not) I had a late lunch. Grilled cheese on whole wheat bread and a bowl of plain yogurt with some granola and agave syrup. Matt's family arrived shortly after I finished my lunch. His mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law joined us in Boston for the evening. Matt's sister and brother-in-law were visiting from Chicago and the family decided to have a night out in Beantown so that Matt could visit and still crash at home from being jet lagged. Stupid 36 hour trip to London ruined all of our fun!

For dinner we went to the Capital Grille. This is usually one of our favorite restaurants. We always know that the food is going to be phenomenal so it's a great place to bring guests to the city. Saturday was the first night we were disappointed. It was SO loud that we couldn't hear each other, our steak was over cooked and we didn't have our favorite server. Woe is us! It wasn't the quiet, perfect evening Matt and I had envisioned. Don't get me wrong the food was still delicious! I ordered calamari with hot cherry peppers for all of us to share as an appetizer. Matt and I shared a kona encrusted dry aged sirloin which is our favorite steak at the CG. Then we got a couple of sides for the table to share - mashed potatoes, parmesan truffle fries and asparagus. Last but not least, Matt and I shared a slice of key lime pie for dessert. Our meal was decadent! Sorry. No pictures. Too dark in the restaurant for any of them to do the food justice.

Sunday morning the family gathered one last time for breakfast at Mooo.... before Matt's sister and BIL had to head home to Chicago. Breakfast ended up being how I envisioned dinner at CG. Quiet, relaxing with conversations flowing over coffee and breakfast foods. I've said it before but I'm going to say it again! I love the cornbread that they bring to the table! I had two slices this time! As my meal I ordered the yogurt with berries and granola. It was good but too expensive ($16) for what I got. I could have made it at home for maybe $4. My last two breakfast meals here were better. I definitely recommend both the french toast and the "XV" eggs.

When we got home Matt and I started on separate organization projects. My main task was to go through all of my paper recipes. You saw that outcome in my last post. We were both so busy being productive that we lost track of time. We snacked for lunch around 4:00. Hummus, crackers, yogurt with granola and fruit. Late lunch ended up leading to a very late dinner. After being more productive we heated up frozen Kashi meals at almost 9PM. Ooopps! Late dinner meant going to bed late and being tired Monday morning.... damn! At least we had a productive Sunday!

My Kashi meal

(Don't worry I will eventually get to the recipe...)

Monday morning I had banana oats in my office and a boring half peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Back to our normal food routine. Ick!

Dinner was definitely more exciting! My first recipe for the week "Quick Chicken Cacciatore" courtesy of the Martha Stewart Living, February 2006. It's definitely not as quick as I would have expected, it took me about an hour and a half, but it was worth the wait. This was the second recipe that I have had to make that called for chicken thighs. I'm not a huge thigh fan but I will say that this recipe was so much better than the recipe. The thighs were tender and juicy. I still prefer the taste of breasts over thighs so I think going forward I'm going to swap them in any future thigh recipes.

Matt's review: This is a keeper
Lauren's review: Love the flavor combination even with the thighs which is surprising!
Final decision: To the recipe box!

I served the chicken over a bed of whole wheat spaghetti with a salad on the side. It was a yummy, nutritious dinner!

Today I had oatmeal with honey, raisins, pumpkin pie spice and flax seed at my desk. Then for lunch Cacciatore leftovers! It was good but I realized that I'm not a huge fan of leftovers... I'm not a big fan of lunch in general actually! Least favorite meal of the day. But... I'm just repeating myself.

After finishing at the office I went to the gym for my bicep, chest and calf strength routine. Then I was off to book club to discuss our last book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was a great book! For dinner we had pizza from Upper Crust, cupcakes for a birthday celebration and wine. If we had also had a scoop of ice cream my night would have been complete. All of my favorite things in a couple of hours!!

Buffalo chicken pizza

Garden Veggie pizza

After Matt had frozen veggie burgers for dinner tonight he made sure that I would be around tomorrow to cook again. So, more recipes to come...

Quick Chicken Cacciatore


8 chicken thighs, skin on (about 2 1/4 pounds) *I used skinless, boneless thighs
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. EVOO
2 medium onions, halved and cut into 1/8-inch slices
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 t. finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 c. dry white wine
3 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, juice from one can reserved
1 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock

Season chicken with 2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper; dredge in flour. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, skin side down; cook until dark-golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat.
Add onions, garlic, rosemary; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add wine, and simmer 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, reserved juice, stock, and 1 t. salt. Return chicken to pot. Raise heat to medium-high and bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; cover.
Raise heat to medium. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to pot. Serve sprinkled with more rosemary.

Serves 4

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