Here's some good news. Dinner's already started.
Who did this wonderful thing? You did, with your stash of Chunky Seasoned Chicken from last week. Now a savory dinner of Quickie Cacciatore is only minutes away.
Today's recipe is the second installment of our desperate two-for-one, time-saving special.
If you missed the recipe for our big batch of seasoned chicken from last week, we're printing it again. Just use half the chicken for this delightful dinner, and you'll have some left over to freeze for another batch. If you did make the chicken last week and it's frozen, be sure to defrost it before starting. (The defrost setting on the microwave is a handy tool. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions.)
This is a two-for-one special you don't have to wait for. It's already waiting for you.
Italian bread sticks
8 ounces thin spaghetti
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large green bell pepper (for 1 1/2 cups chopped)
1 package (8 ounces) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (14 ounces) Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
11/ 2teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 cups Chunky Seasoned Chicken with juices (defrosted if frozen), recipe follows
Bring 2 1/2 quarts of unsalted water to a boil in a covered 4 1/2 -quart or larger Dutch oven or soup pot. When the water reaches a rapid boil, add the spaghetti and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
While the spaghetti cooks, pour the oil into an extra-deep, 12-inch non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. Seed the bell pepper and cut it into bite-size pieces, adding the pieces to the skillet as you cut. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
While the vegetables cook, open the tomato and tomato paste cans. Set aside. When the vegetables are tender, add the stewed tomatoes, Italian seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.
Add the chicken. Add the tomato paste one tablespoon at a time (four total), stirring after each addition. Continue to stir until the tomato paste is completely incorporated. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is just heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve at once over hot, drained spaghetti. Serves 4.
Cook's note: This recipe is prepared with fresh chicken. If your chicken is frozen, defrost completely before starting. Be sure to use an extra-deep, 12-inch non-stick skillet.
CHUNKY SEASONED CHICKEN
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large onions (for about 2 cups chopped)
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves, see note
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Pour the oil into an extra-deep, 12-inch non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. Peel and coarsely chop the onions, adding them to the skillet as you chop. Cook, stirring from time to time.
Cut all of the chicken into bite-size pieces (roughly 1/2 -inch cubes). When all of the chicken is cut, add it to the pan and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the garlic and Worcestershire sauce, stir well, and cook 30 seconds more. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Remove half of the chicken mixture (including about half of the juices), about 3 1/2 cups, to a freezer container and set aside to cool. Return the pan to the heat and proceed with the recipe.