Wednesdays in our house is crock pot night. We have to be at church at 5:30pm because Oscar plays on the Youth Worship Team; he plays the acoustic guitar and bass. Church doesn’t actually start until 7:00 so a lot of times we take dinner with us and either eat there or in the car (if babies are sleeping) and we don’t leave until a little after 9:00, which means we aren’t home until at least 9:45 on Wednesdays.
Yep, Wednesday is a long one for us, even longer if Max and Caroline don’t take a nap. Which means come the end of service, they are extremely grumpy and I’m about ready to pull my hair out. *grin*
To save a bit of sanity for myself, I decided a long time ago to declare mid-week church night as crock pot night. One of my go-to meals is Chicken Cacciatore. Everyone eats it well and there are always leftovers for a couple of day’s worth of lunches.
This recipe makes a lot of food. I’ve adapted it from Sidetracked Sarah to meet my family’s needs.
Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Into the crock to be cooked:
1 small can of sliced mushrooms
4 stalks of celery chopped
5 carrots chopped
1 large onion diced
2 green peppers chopped or sliced
5 teaspoons minced garlic
3-4 large chicken breasts (I use frozen)
32 oz chicken broth OR 16 oz if not cooking pasta in the crock
3-4 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons course ground black pepper
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
After it’s finished:
Pasta (I use angel hair but you could use any pasta you want)
Instructions: combine the “to be cooked” ingredients in the crock and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-9 hours on low. Once done, shred the chicken and put it back in the crock. At this point, I add my uncooked pasta to the crock. I use about 3/4 lb, broken in half. If you aren’t the type who likes to cook pasta with the food, you can always do it separately BUT be sure you half the chicken broth! So, you’ll need about 2 cups broth if NOT cooking the noodles in the crock.
After I add my noodles, I let them cook about 30 minutes on high with everything else.
Personally, I like to top my cacciatore with parmesan cheese and kalamata olives. YUM!