Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore - bastardized

So I've gained about 5 lbs since my dear lovey sister moved down. That, on top of the 5 lbs through the holidays, means I'm really not happy with where I am right now. Granted, I'm still sub-135, but not quite fitting into clothes is not where I'd like to be.

So! I decided now is as good of a time as any to attempt a gluten-free, dairy-free trial run. The fact that I'll be eating more whole vegetables, no bread/pasta and no candy should help me get back to where I ought to be without going crazy about dieting. An all around healthier situation should probably make me feel better too. Possibly make my body feel alive sometime before 10am even?

Anyway. This recipe was adapted quite a bit from a old diet cookbook I picked up at the used bookstore downtown a while back. It has daily menus for about a year of 600 calorie days. Damn, right? Anyway, it says itself that no one should really go to those extremes unless on Dr's orders, and how the fat lil old lady it was originally designed for was sedentary and seeing her Dr once a week and all that. And that its easy to scale. Either with additions (particularly at breakfast where it has a list of items to add and the calories they'd add) or simple multiplication (you want 1200 per day? eat 2 servings!). That's all besides the point though. There are quite a few recipes in there that I'm probably going to modify. They tend to be heavy handed with vegetables, moderate on meat, and nearly nil on grains.
So! Here's the bastardized version of chicken cacciatore:

1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lb chicken thighs (note, i removed fat first. they were boneless and skinless to begin with)
2 big cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 large red onion, diced
1 28 oz can tomatoes (diced here, cause its what i had)
4 oz tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken broth (using better than bouillon which has whey but has no gluten containing ingredients that i could discern confirmed gluten free)
1 tsp olive oil
7 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced (from an 8oz package that my sister ate about an ounce or so of)
'italian herbs'

1. Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a non-reactive heavy pan large enough to hold everything. I used a wok. Attempt to brown the thighs (please note that i'm terrible at this. however, all the bits that stuck to the bottom ended up helping the sauce a lot). S&P as you go. Set aside
2. Toss the onion into the pan, stir about until they start to lose the red color. Toss in the garlic. Cook a minute or two.
3. Add about half a cup of the chicken broth. Use a whisk to get the good browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
4. Return the thighs, add the tomatoes, paste and herbs. Simmer for about an hour or so? Stirring occasionally.
5. In a small pan, heat the additional 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and a dash of salt. Cook through, then add to the sauce. Stir in. Simmer a bit longer.
6. Remove from heat.

Since I used 7 chicken thighs, I separated it into seven servings. Each got 1 thigh, then I added spoonfuls of sauce roughly evenly around until it was gone. I ate it on its own, but would be good over zucchini cut into long strips and blanched, spaghetti squash, rice, etc. Or pasta, if that suits you. :D

Nutrition facts per serving:
257 cal, 11g fat, 8g carbs, 4g sugar, 2g fiber, 29g protein

Today, I ate a serving with a over easy egg on top and it was pretty good. I shredded the thigh before putting the egg in. Its also a pretty cheap meal what with finding things on sale and chicken thighs being pretty cheap.

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