What a delicious and easy crockpot meal this is! Tender boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a vegetable laced tomato sauce over creamy polenta slices. Perfect for a cool autumn day! Super easy to prepare and plate, thanks to pre-made polenta that only requires heating up to serve. Pre-made, store bought, polenta is such a deal point+ speaking too. For two 1/2" slices, it adds only 2p+ to this dish. I sliced the polenta into 1/2" discs, and then sauteed them for a few minutes in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray until warm. Of course, you could serve this over pasta or rice if you prefer, and it would still be delicious!
As for the chicken cacciatore, it is basically "a layer and let cook all day" sort of recipe! Only a little extra work at the end, to thicken the sauce and add the spinach, before it is ready to be served.
And the best part is, you can thin the leftovers out with some chicken stock for a great soup for lunches during the week!
Crockpot Garden Chicken Cacciatore over Polenta
adapted from Healthy Cooking
Servings - 8 Serving Size - approx 1 cup or 1/8th recipe Points Plus per Serving - 4 points+
Calories - 157.3, Total Fat - 3.4g, Carb. - 13.1g, Protein - 18.5g, Fiber - 3.3g
9 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 large rib of celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 - 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup fat free, reduced sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup dry red wine ( I used merlot )
2 TBS. balsamic vinegar
2 TBS cornstarch dissolved in a little water
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach ( optional....I wanted to use up some spinach I had )
additional salt and pepper, to taste
1. Season chicken thighs with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spray liner of a 6 quart crockpot with cooking spray. Place chicken thighs inside the bottom. Add in the green pepper, onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and bay leaf. Open can of diced tomatoes and top the vegetables in the crock pot.
2. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, chicken stock, wine and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Pour on top of chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 - 10 hours or until the chicken is tender. Remove bay leaf and discard.
3. Add in the chopped spinach ( if using) and the cornstarch dissolved in water. Stir and allow to cook for another 20 minutes on HIGH or until the sauce has thickened. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve over polenta slices, pasta or rice. ( Polenta, pasta or rice NOT included in nutritional information)
This dish was a hit with my family. We really enjoyed it over the polenta slices. Look for the pre-made polenta in the pasta aisle of your grocery store. ( of course, you could also make the polenta from scratch if you wish!) The flavors of this cacciatore are deep and delicious and like I mentioned above, I took the leftovers and added more broth to them to make it into a soup for lunches! You gotta love when you can recreate a dish for another meal!
On the home front, I have been super busy lately....and feel bad that I haven't had much of a chance to read and comment on some of my favorite blogs! So forgive me, I am looking to try to find some time to sit down and catch up with everyone! :)
If you haven't left me a comment to enter to win a $25 gift card to Bed, Bath and Beyond, to celebrate my one year blogversary you have until this Friday to try your luck at it! You can find out about the rules HERE.
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