This Oven Braised Chicken Cacciatore is scented with rosemary and braised in a rich tomato sauce flavored with red wine, mushrooms and mixed bell peppers. Serve this over simple Lemon Poppy Seed Noodles alongside sauteed green beans for a simple but elegant meal.
Our church has a wonderful community service program called Angel Meals where volunteers sign up to provide meals to anyone in need, whether someone has had surgery, is undergoing chemotherapy, or just had a baby. It’s a great way for people to participate in a small way, yet make a difference for families that are going through a tough time.
Recently, I had the pleasure of cooking for a woman who just had hip replacement surgery and her family. I had signed up last minute and needed an easy meal that could be made in advance, reheated easily, and could be doubled so I could make enough for my own family’s dinner. Our church uses MealBaby to help organize meals online for families. It’s a great resource for coordinating meals for folks and you can even see what everyone else is making so you don’t make the same thing.
I was scheduled in between two pasta meals, so I decided to make something lighter and different. Cooking for other families is always a bit tricky when you don’t know their tastes. I figured Italian food was pretty safe.
This recipe for Chicken Cacciatore with Rosemary was inspired by a dinner at my friend’s house a few weeks ago. She made her Chicken Cacciatore in the oven – a great way to make a large quantity without using multiple pots – I loved that idea. Although her dish didn’t have any mushrooms, rosemary or wine in it (she used bell peppers, celery, and basil which were delicious), I spotted a recipe for “New School” Chicken Cacciatore in Todd English’s Cooking in Everyday which used a mixture of shitake mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, chicken broth and white wine.
So, I took the best of both recipes and combined them. I love the extra flavor that mushrooms, wine and chicken broth add to dishes, and the warmth that rosemary brings to braised dishes. I also love the idea of including bell peppers in this dish for color and as a way to tuck in some extra vegetables at dinnertime.
I decided to serve this saucy Chicken Cacciatore with Lemon Poppy Seed Noodles (I used olive oil in place of butter, whole grain egg noodles for my friend and gluten-free noodles for my son who has wheat allergies)
I was short on time for making dessert, and “cheated” by using a packet of Pamela’s gluten-free Oatmeal Cookie Mix with unsweetened coconut, dried cranberries and chocolate chips as mix-ins.
I hope my friend and her family enjoyed this meal as much as mine did.
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