The swans are back!!!! And OH did it ever make my heart smile to see them again! Their elegance and beauty is truly something to behold! And I’ve been heartbroken for spring for way too long!
Last year at this time, it was in the 70’s and 80’s. I’m thankful today that the snow is mostly melted! And to see a family of THREE!, pure white swans, slowly waltz back into the lake to (hopefully) choose a nice, sunny spot to call home – – literally made me sigh out loud! 😀
And with spring’s arrival, comes a lot of yard work and winter cleanup! I actually can’t wait to get out and clean the outsides of the windows! This winter has not been kind, and the windows sure show it! I love going out onto the deck with my little bucket of soapy water and my squeegee, though! I’ve always actually had fun cleaning windows! I could probably make a small fortune doing windows! 😉
But all that yard work is hard and very time-consuming! So it’s always nice to have something stewing in the crock pot!
Ok, so this has a few more steps than the usual dump ‘n run crock pot recipes, but it’s still massively easy and even taste-worthy enough for company!
So what’s the big deal, right?
If you skip browning, it just won’t be the same. Seriously. Just look at those gorgeous pieces of chicken!
Once it’s slow-cooked and simmered to perfection so much so that the meat just falls away from the bone, just boil up a pasta of choice, and you’re done!
While the pasta is boiling, you can add a salad or even some garlic bread if you’d like. That’s the most wonderful thing about dishes like this in the crock pot. They can hold until you are ready. No fretting! And this one is seriously good enough for company! A stress-free hostess makes for a fabulous dinner party! 😉
So don’t cheat and toss some anemic looking boneless skinless pieces of meat in there! Use “real” chicken pieces, skin on and bone in, dredge and quick fry just to seal and form a very light crust, and I promise you, you’ll thank me for making you take the quick extra step!
It only takes minutes really, and I wouldn’t want to have this dish any other way!
Start this in the morning on a weekend at your leisure, get all the Saturday/Sunday crud done, and by the time winter has finally been cleaned out of the yard for good, supper will be ready!
All that’s left to do is just the pasta and a salad!
Grating a little fresh romano or parmesan on top is the crown jewel in the ol’ tiara, and don’t forget the “bow tie” of fresh basil! Especially if serving to company! You’ll look like a pro! And almost all done in the crock pot. 😉
Hope you enjoy and that spring is finally making an appearance in your backyard, too! 😀
CLASSIC CHICKEN CACCIATORE in the CROCK POT
Serves 4-6 (*Requires a large, oval crock pot)
Seasoned Flour Mixture:
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 brown paper lunch sacks
Rest of Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts and 4 large thighs, bone in and skin on, (*if pieces seem kind of small, you can sneak in a leg or two), or one whole chicken cut up
oil for frying
1 medium onion, large dice
1 1/2 Tbl. sweet slow roasted garlic, can sub 2 tsp. minced garlic
8 oz. carton fresh sliced cremini or button mushrooms
1 green bell pepper, cleaned out and large diced
1 (6 oz.) can medium-sized pitted black or Kalamata olives, drained and sliced lengthwise in half
1 (24 oz.) jar Barilla Tomato and Basil Sauce
1 (14.5 oz.) can Hunt’s Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic, undrained
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
2 Tbl. fresh basil, very thinly sliced
2 Tb. red wine
1 1/2 tsp. Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
any hearty cooked pasta such as spaghetti, linguini, tagliatelle, penne, mostaccioli, rigatoni, rotini, farfalle (bow tie), or even cheese-filled tortellini! your choice!
more thinly sliced basil or whole leaves for garnish
finely shaved fresh romano cheese for garnish
Open one paper sack and place a second unopened one inside, then open second one making a double bag for strength. Add seasoned flour mixture ingredients, squeeze top closed, and shake to mix. Add chicken pieces, one at a time, shaking in the bag to coat and placing onto a baking sheet to dry a bit.
While chicken rests and sets, get oil heating up in a large deep frying pan at least an inch deep with oil. Heat to very hot but not smoking. Brown several pieces at a time on both sides, not crowding the pan, and place into bottom of sprayed crock pot as you go. (*About 2-3 minutes per side.)
Add next 12 ingredients. Then pour the chicken bouillon over the top. Give the crock a few jiggles and shakes to let everything settle in. Place on lid and cook on High for about 6 hours until meat is super tender and wants to fall away from the bone.
Turn crock pot to low and prepare pasta of choice, salad and garlic bread if desired. Serve chicken pieces over pasta, garnish with thinly shaved fresh romano cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.