Mark and I are both Italian, but Mark likes Italian-American food far more than I do. I don't mind a good pizza a few times a month, and I'll take fresh food fruit and veggies from Italy above all else, but I'll pass on pasta ten times out of ten. Usually, I make a pot of homemade meatballs and sauce and eat it plain while Mark polishes off a half pound of pasta himself. Tonight's meal was no exception. However, what I liked about this dish was that it only took about an hour from start to finish, and I didn't have to bust out the crock pot. It was a nice change of pace to have chicken and tomato sauce instead of beef. I adapted recipes from Joy of Cooking, my dad, and Food Network.
Serves: 4 - 6
4 split bone-in chicken breasts OR 1 whole chicken, cut up
dredged in 1/2 cup of flour seasoned with a sprinkling of red pepper and garlic powder, or plain
browned in 1/3 cup of olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot (you may need to do this in batches)
Once chicken is done, set aside on a plate. Add to olive oil:
4 mashed, chopped garlic cloves and 1 cup sliced mushrooms
When mushrooms are brown and flavorful, add:
1 cup of white wine and cook til reduced by half
Then, add and stir:
1 28-ounce can of crushed or whole tomatoes
2 T tomato paste (I forgot it, but I wish I had added it for a thicker sauce)
3/4 c beef or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, basil, and oregano
1 bay leaf
Put chicken back in the pot and simmer covered until chicken is cooked. I am very bad at telling when things are done, so my meat thermometer has been a lifesaver. You want the internal temperature to reach 165 degrees for poultry.
Let sauce sit for 5-10 minutes after turning off heat to thicken up a bit. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta, if you so desire. Fresh parmesan cheese is wonderful on top!