A Simple Crowd Pleaser

Since it's January, I have been staying home a lot.  The weather is too dreary to gad about.  I have been a prolific cook in the past couple of weeks.  One dish of which I am particularly pleased is my Chicken Marinara sauce.  I can't take full credit for the recipe, because I got the idea from Holly Clegg's Trim and Terrific Meat Sauce recipe.

It all started when I asked my husband what he wanted for supper.  In the past week I had cooked a pot roast, white beans with ham, lemon pie, meat loaf with mashed potatoes, garlic cheese grits and eggs.  He said: "spaghetti with chicken."  So I got out my cookbooks and searched the Internet for a good recipe.  When I couldn't find one I liked, I improvised.  I took Holly's tried and true Meat Sauce recipe and added a few touches of my own.  I substituted chicken for ground beef and made an entirely different tasting main dish.

I posted a picture of this huge pot of Chicken Marinara on my Facebook wall and had requests for the recipe.  It is repeated here in case you want to try it.  I have included all the details to make it a success.  If you are tired of staying inside because of bad weather, you can try this.  I guarantee that your house will smell wonderful while this is simmering.

Dot's Chicken Marinara Sauce (adapted from Holly Clegg's Meat Sauce recipe)

-Saute' 2 cups of chopped onions in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  (I used Pictsweet frozen seasoning blend) and a generous 1 Tablespoon minced garlic.
-Stir in one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, one 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used Cento), 1 6 oz. can tomato paste ( I used Shurfine) and one cup of chicken broth ( I used Swanson's reduced sodium)
-Add dried Italian seasoning mix to taste.  I used 1/4 cup and added about 1 Tablespoon dried basil as well.  About a cup of red wine is an optional ingredient, but one of my diners doesn't care for food cooked in red wine, so I left this out.
-Meanwhile,  sprinkle pepper and coarse salt on chicken pieces ( used 4 drumsticks, 6 thighs, and 3 breasts all "bone-in" and with skin)
-In a separate pan, brown the chicken pieces in another 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  (Tip:  don't crowd the skillet....brown a few pieces at a time)
-As the chicken pieces are browned to a golden color, add them to the tomato sauce.
-Stir in about 1/4 cup granulated sugar to cut the acid taste of the sauce.
-Simmer covered for about 2 hours or longer if you want the chicken to fall off the bones.
-Serve over boiled pasta and garnish generously with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.

Add a salad and some hot bread and you have a meal.

Here's an easy salad recipe idea that I stole from Darcy, my sweet neighbor:

-Combine butter lettuce pieces, sliced fresh (or canned pears) and crumbled Goat Cheese.
-Dress the salad with a vinaigrette.  I used Brianna's Blush Vinaigrette.

Enjoy.  Have a second helping and skip dessert.
This is enough marinara to serve 8 ravenous appetites.

By the Way:  I have been shopping at Zachary's newly remodeled LeBlanc's Food Store.  Thanks to those folks for upgrading the grocery shopping experience.

P.S.  my sous chef didn't help.  She was too busy getting to know Mike the Tiger!

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