Colorful Chicken Cacciatore

This dish brings flavors of my childhood to the kitchen table.  My Italian mother (and her mother…) made a similar dinner for their families to enjoy.  The great thing about this dish is it doesn’t take long to make (my version, that is).  And, it doesn’t require a long list of ingredients.  Here it goes…

1-1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into quarters

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

salt and pepper

1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced

1 small onion, sliced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1/3 cup red wine (you might need to open up a bottle to make this recipe and pour yourself a glass while cooking).

3 bay leaves

1/2  can pitted black olives, drained (optional)

1 pound cooked spaghetti

Heat oil in a large saucepan.  Add garlic and chicken pieces.  Salt and pepper the chicken and brown on one side, about 3 minutes.  Turn chicken, salt and pepper again, and brown for an additional 3 minutes.  Add green pepper and onion.  Saute for a few minutes, scraping the pan for any remnants of cooked chicken.  Add undrained tomatoes, sauce, wine and bay leaves .  Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Add optional black olives at the end of cooking.  Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.  Enjoy with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.  Mangia, Mangia!

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