Low Points – Big Flavor Chicken Cacciatore

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It’s been a long while since I posted anything here but this meal was so good, I decided to it NEEDED to be shared!

I had a taste for something Italian tonight but didn’t want pasta (I’m back to losing a few pounds on WW and wanted a low point meal). I googled some ideas and saw some inspiration for Chicken Cacciatore recipes but as I usually do, I create my own version of things and tonight’s meal with a total home run!


I started off by running up to store to get a good can of whole tomatoes (San Marzano) – and some good cheeses. Since the cheese and chicken were the only points in this meal, I wanted them to be DELICIOUS! I picked up some good quality Ricotta and Pecorino Romano.

I also picked up a few Patty Pan squash, some organic carrots, and red peppers. Patty Pan squash are the large yellow (or green) squash that look like flying saucers. If you can’t find Patty Pan, just pick up the largest yellow squash you can find.


If you haven’t tried any of Mom’s Gourmet Seasonings, you seriously need to. Sally Koepke is the founder and she’s a dear friend of mine. Her seasonings are available nationwide but not every store carries them. Whole Foods, Giant Eagle, and Winn Dixie are a few of the stores that carry it. You can always order it on their website at www.momsgourmet.net.

The one you need for this recipe is “Ciao Down” (it’s an incredible Italian blend). If you can’t find it, you can make your own blend using the ingredients in the recipe below.

I coated the chicken with a touch of olive oil and few healthy tablespoons of Ciao Down. Then a added the chicken to a hot cast iron skillet and browned it on both sides for about 5-6 minutes each side.

I put the veggies (carrots, red peppers, garlic scapes) and when it all browned, I removed everything from the pan to make room for the Patty Pan squash. I browned both sides. You don’t want to put the squash in too early because it will just become mush. You will want some crunch to it.

Add a touch of wine and deglaze the pan. Add a piece of chicken on top of each squash, and then add the rest of the veggies back into the pan.

Add a 32 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, more Ciao Down, some fennel power, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper.

Top each piece of chicken with 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese and spoon some of the tomato sauce on top of it.

With a spatula, scoop a piece of the Patty Pan squash with the chicken on top and scoop out some veggies too. I served it with a leaf lettuce salad.

Load up on the veggies and you will have a super meal. You can also serve it with your favorite pasta.

Chicken Cacciatore with Veggies

This is a super healthy, LOW WW POINTS version of Chicken Cacciatore I made up myself and OMG - it's good!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Chicken, Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 - 4 Boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 Red pepper julienned
  • 1-2 Summer yellow squash Patty pan, or other large yellow squash, sliced into 4-8 pieces
  • 1 Large carrot Sliced at an angle for long pieces
  • 1 Can whole plum tomatoes San Marzano are the best
  • 1 Garlic scapes Chopped into 1/4" pieces, or 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 4 tbsp Ricotta cheese
  • 4 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp Mom's Gourmet "Ciao Down" italian seasoning Or mix basil, garlic, fennel, anise, oregano, thyme, black pepper together
  • 2 tbsp Fennel powder
  • 1/2 c White wine
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Add a bit of olive oil to a pan and heat
  • Coat and marinate chicken with Ciao Down spices and olive oil
  • Add chicken to hot plan and let it sear and cook. Flip once cooked to the other side.
  • Julienne peppers, carrots and add to pan.
  • Add garlic scapes or garlic and mix
  • Slice patty pan squash to get large wide pieces. Remove chicken and add squash. Brown on both sides.
  • Add wine to the pan and deglaze to get all the browned bits.
  • Add chicken back and place on top of the squash.
  • Add the can of tomatoes and squish some of them.
  • Add more Ciao Down seasoning and lots of fennel powder. Add salt and pepper as well.
  • Top each piece of chicken with 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese and spoon some of the sauce on top of the cheese.
  • Sprinkle with a bit of grated pecorino romano cheese. Leave a few larger bite-sized chunks in the pan as well.

Notes

This is only an 8-point WW meal when you have 5 oz of chicken!
5 oz chicken: 3 points
1 oz ricotta cheese: 2 points
3/4 oz pecorino romano cheese: 3 points
 
Adam LapsevichLow Points – Big Flavor Chicken Cacciatore
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Crispy Thin Chicken and Pasta with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

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When I was in college I worked at Morton’s Steakhouse. They had a dish on their lunch menu called “Chicken Christopher”. It was a very thin chicken breast, breaded crispy, with a garlicky-cream sauce.

I’ve been making it ever since, but I have always “Adam-ized” it, meaning, I made it my own. It can be made from a variety of garlic cream sauces, but if you like sundried tomatoes, you will go crazy of this version I created.

I’m not going to lie, this takes a lot of cookware. You need a pot to boil the pasta, a pot to blanch the asparagus, a pan to saute (fry) the chicken, and a deep pan to make the sauce!  Plus, a baking pan to put the chicken in the oven to finish cooking! If you think you can do it, here goes!

The full recipe is in the recipe card below, but if you can handle multiple pots going on your stove at the same time, it’s a breeze!

Start off by creating the breading for the chicken. Slice the chicken thin and then pound it to make it even thinner. This is important! It just makes the meal so much tastier.

Saute the chicken in olive oil in a pan on the stove, until it gets crispy. Then set it in a baking Pyrex dish and slightly tent with foil. Place in a 350 degree preheated oven. Now you can start making the sauce.


Pasta and Cream Sauce

This is actually pretty easy. Saute some butter in a deep pan. I use an All-Clad Weeknight Pan, but a wok would do just fine.

Start off boiling a pot of salted water and cooking the pasta to the package directions. Then, start the sauce.

Add the butter, olive oil, garlic, and sundried tomatoes to your deep pan. Use some of the olive oil from the jar as well. Add the cream. Stir and let it simmer on low. While you’re doing this, blanch the asparagus.

Once the pasta is done, drain and reserve 1 to 2 cups of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce. Add the Pecorino cheese.  A lot of it! And add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water. Get it to the consistency that you like. Not too runny, and not too thick.

Toss in the asparagus and stir it all to coat.

Simmer it on low until the chicken is done.

Plate it and enjoy! It’s sooooooo good!

Thin Crispy Chicken with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

This is an unbelievably delicious meal. Thin chicken, with a lite sundried tomato cream sauce!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Chicken Breading

  • 1 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 chicken breasts (sliced thin, and pounded really thin)
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan
  • 2 eggs (beaten, for dipping and breading chicken)
  • 1/2 c olive oil (for frying chicken breasts)
  • 1 handful parsely finely chopped
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper

Pasta and Cream Sauce

  • 1 lb Bucatini pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 c Pecorino romano cheese (get a high quality cheese and grate it)
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt (divided, for pasta water, and sauce)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp sundried tomatoes (from jar, packed with olive oil)
  • 10 spears asparagus blanched
  • 1 c pasta water (reserved from cooking pasta)

Instructions
 

Prepare chicken

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • pound chicken breasts thin (I use a Pampered Chef meat pounder)
  • Beat 2 eggs in a bowl, large enough to dip chicken in to coat
  • Create breadcrumb mixture using both types of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley, finely chopped, and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Heat nonstick skillet with olive oil until hot
  • Dip chicken in egg wash and breadcrumb mixture. Pat breadcrumbs on thick on both sides.
  • Place chicken in hot skillet and let it get crispy (approx 2-3 minutes per side). Turn and fry other side.
  • Repeat until all chicken is crispy fried with breading. WORK IN BATCHES! CLEAN THE PAN IN BETWEEN IF NECESSARY. This prevents burnt breadcrumbs coating chicken.
  • Set in baking dish. Lightly cover with foil and place in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes tops.

Prepare Pasta Sauce and Pasta

  • Boil pot of salted water
  • In another deep pan, add butter, sundried tomatoes, pressed garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil and stir until butter is melted. Add cream and stir. Reduce heat to a very low simmer.
  • In another pot, place asparagus for 3 minutes in boiling water. When finished, cut each stalk into 3-5 pieces, depending on the size of each asparagus stalk. Set aside.
  • Once pasta water boils, add pasta and cook per package instructions. Drain and reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water.
  • Slowly add pasta to the sauce and coat.
  • Add the grated Pecorino cheese slowly. Add pasta water to maintain creamy consistency.
  • Add more cheese if necessary. Feel free to add more cream and/or pasta water if necessary as well. There are no rules. Make it to your liking.
  • Add asparagus. Toss. Add salt and pepper.
  • Remove chicken from oven and plate with a side of pasta. Drizzle some of the sauce over the chicken.
Keyword Chicken, Pasta
Adam LapsevichCrispy Thin Chicken and Pasta with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce
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Autumn Chicken Salad

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Earlier today I had a late lunch, so at dinner time, I wasn’t hungry at all. Naturally though by about 9 o’clock I had the munchies. Of course I didn’t want a heavy meal so I had to check out the pantry to see what I could scrounge up. Low and behold, I had some canned chicken and thought I’d throw together a little chicken salad. For some reason, that sounded kinda good.

Normally, I make chicken salad the usual boring way… with mayo, celery, maybe some grapes, onions, blah blah blah. I had some farm fresh apples in the fridge and seeing yesterday was the first day of Fall, I thought maybe I could concoct some sort of “autumn-ish” chicken salad. So I continued searching for items I could add into the mix.

Of course a touch of chopped purple onion is a must, along with some red and orange pepper I had on hand. I hit a home run when I found some Trader Joe’s “Roasted and Salted” Pecans, which added a huge touch of fall flavor!

Now get this! In my cupboard I had some dried dates and figs! I chose the dates and chopped some up, along with a few dried apricots I had on hand. BINGO! My Autumn Chicken Salad was coming together nicely!

I added a touch of salt and pepper and then thought….. cinnamon…. that’s “fall-ish”! And while I was at it, a touch of All Spice.

I mixed it all together with a heaping tablespoon of mayo and much to my surprise, it was delicious! I chilled it for about 15 minutes while I took my evening shower and then came back downstairs and had a small sandwich with the other half of the apple I didn’t use.

Cut calories by using low fat mayo and eat it on lettuce instead of bun and you’ll save even more! I didn’t do either, but I did eat it with apples instead of chips, so that counts for something! 🙂

Autumn Chicken Salad

A delicious chicken salad bursting with Fall flavors!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Chicken, Lunch, Salad, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can Canned chicken (Drained)
  • 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Chopped pecans (Trader Joe’s, roasted and salted are awesome)
  • 1/2 Chopped apple
  • 2-3 Seedless dates or figs (Chopped)
  • 2-3 Dried apricots (Chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Chopped purple onion
  • 2 tbsp Chopped red, orange or yellow pepper
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 1 tsp Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Drain liquid from can of chicken
  • Chop all veggies, pecans and fruit
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon, all spice, salt and pepper.
  • Mix in a bowl with mayo. Add more to taste
  • Chill for a few minutes and enjoy on either lettuce leaves or a bun
Adam LapsevichAutumn Chicken Salad
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Seasoned Chicken One Pan Meal

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Here’s a recipe that is so good, you’ll come back to it on a regular basis. Plus, it’s easy. A “one pan chicken dish”. There is one caveat though. You’ll need a saucepan for to prep the peas and the buttery wine sauce that tops the chicken so deliciously though! Other than that, it’s super easy!


I used 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, and skin on, and I used 3 boneless breasts, sliced in half, for a total of 6 pieces of white meat. You’ll have 10 pieces total, which is a nice mix.

Adjust it to your own liking. I don’t eat the skin but it does add a lot of flavor, and looks beautiful, when it’s browned and crispy.

You’ll coat the chicken and potatoes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, at 350° for about 15 minutes.

Then bring it out and add the fresh herbs, lemons and toss the potatoes, and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes.


Preparing the Peas and Sauce

Once you place the chicken back in for the second 15 minutes, start making the peas and sauce.

You will need a saucepan for this, but it’s so easy, and tasty, you won’t mind at all!  It only take a few moments to put together and heat up. Then let it simmer on low until you’re ready for it.


Because boneless white meat can dry out, we’re going to pull the pan from the over for this next step and remove the white meat. Crank the over up to 425° and place the pan back in for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure you toss the potatoes one more time. We want the thighs and potatoes to get super crispy now.


After about 10-15 minutes, add the white meat back onto the pan, and pour the peas and sauce over all the chicken. Put it back in the over for a few more minutes to make sure the white meat chicken is warmed through.

That’s it! Serve it with my Shaved Brussels Sprouts salad and you’ll be in heaven!

Enjoy!


Seasoned Chicken One Pan Meal

A delicious meal cooked in 1 sheet pan.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Chicken, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
  • 3 Chicken breasts (boneless)
  • 1/2 c Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dried thyme
  • 2 tsp Dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Shallot (sliced thick)
  • 1 Lemon (zested, and then sliced thick)
  • 1 c Frozen peas
  • 1/4 c White wine
  • 1/2 stick Butter
  • 1/2 c Dried Apricots
  • 10 Redskin potatoes (quartered lengthwise)
  • Handful Fresh herbs, such as sage, parsley, oregano, thyme

Instructions
 

Chicken and Potatoes

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees
  • Cut 3 boneless chicken breasts in half to make 6 pieces.
  • In large bowl, add breasts and 4 bone-in thighs.
  • Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 garlic cloves (pressed), and the spices and coat well.
  • Quarter redskin potatoes lengthwise. Place in separate bowl. Coat with 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • Zest a lemon, set aside, then slice it into 4 thick slices.
  • Place on parchment paper lined baking pan (cookie sheet with sides).
  • Place chicken on pan at one side and potatoes on the other.
  • Coat generously with salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Place in oven for 15 minutes, until is starts to cook slightly.

PEAS AND SAUCE

  • White the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  • In a saucepan, add 1/3-1/2 stick butter, 1 garlic clove, and shallot slices. Stir over medium-high heat until the shallots and garlic are slightly browned.
  • Deglaze the pot with 1/4 cup white wine.
  • Add the peas, sliced apricots, and stir.
  • Reduce heat, stirring occasionally. Place on simmer with lid partially on pot.

FINISH CHICKEN AND POTATOES

  • After 15 minutes, remove chicken pan from oven and toss potatoes again. Add fresh herbs and lemon.
  • Turn heat up to 425° and cook for 15 more minutes.

FINAL STEPS

  • After the third 15 minutes, the chicken thighs should have a crispy, brown skin. Reduce the heat to 300°.
  • Add the white meat back to the pan.
  • Pour the peas and sauce onto the chicken and place in oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the white meat is warmed through.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and plate each dish, or transfer to a serving platter.
  • Enjoy with a warm, crusty French baguette and butter.

Notes

NOTE: The boneless chicken will cook faster. After the second 15 minutes, remove the white meat from the pan and set aside. Toss the potatoes again and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
Keyword Chicken, One pan meal
Adam LapsevichSeasoned Chicken One Pan Meal
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