This is a warm, wholesome, hearty and balanced meal that takes some prep and time to cook, but you can use up your late summer tomato bounty and pack in lots of local, farm fresh veggies. Everything but the rice, broth and chicken came from my garden! I was buried in tomatoes, so I used up my cherry and plum tomatoes to make this awesome, comfort meal.
2 Large chicken breast, bone in. (Rinse, salt and pepper sides)
1 large onion, diced
1 leek, rinsed and chopped
3 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, chopped (or 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes)
2 cups chopped Tuscan Kale (or any kale)
2 cloves garlic
3-4 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
3-4 Tbsp chopped, fresh rosemary
1/2 to 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup chopped pancetta or 1/2 cup white kidney beans
Did you know that heating tomatoes actually releases more of their nutrients…? #FoodForThought
In a dutch oven, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Place chicken breast that have been seasoned with sea salt and pepper down, fleshy side first, in pan. Brown chicken breast- about 2-3 minutes a side. Add onion, leek, celery and garlic to pan. Sauté these vegetables until fragrant and beginning to soften. Add the carrots and peppers to pan and begin to mix with onion mix, moving chicken around in pan to coat veggies in oil and juices. Sauté about 1-2 minutes.
Next, add chopped herbs to pan and gently stir vegetables and chicken, making sure vegetables are contacting pan bottom to sautéed and heat. Add in the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper (*I love to use Sea Shakes- a salt alternative that is made from kelp, nori and sea vegetables- adds a salty/peppery flavor along with an iodine boost). Add in half of the chopped kale. If you choose to add pancetta or beans, add those in now. Give the mixture a gentle stir and cover pan. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, Add the rest of chopped kale about 5 minutes before ready to serve.
I usually cook rice, a whole grain mix of wild, red and brown rice, in my rice cooler while I am simmering this chicken cacciatore. Pull the chicken off the bone and remove the bones and skin from pot. Mix up the chicken and vegetables, then spoon in shallow bowls over rice. You can serve this over polenta, spaghetti squash, mashed sweet or yukon potatoes… whatever you choose. Bon Appetite!!! NOTE: This meal can be done in a slow cooker as well after you brown chicken and sautée onion, celery, leeks and garlic. Just add all to slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours.
*Meal takes about 10 Minutes prep/ pre cook time, and 20-25 minutes of simmer/ cook time. *