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My husband makes an excellent Chicken Cacciatore -- however, we usually have a lot of chicken left over, as well as a good bit of the tasty tomato sauce...so, I got creative and with my Italian Heritage behind me, came up with this great sauce you can serve with your favorite Pasta (we chose rigatoni) -- manja!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces cooked chicken breasts, and shredded (approx. 2 Breasts)
- 1 small onion, chopped fine (aprox. 4 oz.)
- 1 small shallot, chopped fine (aprox. 1 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 16 -18 ounces prepared marinara sauce
- 1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes, crushed
- 1⁄2 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Italian spices, dried
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 ounces portabella mushrooms, sauteed and cut into small chunks
- 1 squash, small diced (aprox. 7 oz.)
- 1⁄4 cup sliced green olives
- 1⁄4 cup sliced black olives
- 1⁄4 cup dry red wine (use a Good Brand, one you prefer to drink)
- 1 tablespoon dry red wine (again, use a Good Brand, one you prefer to drink)
- In a large heavy sauce pan, heat the olive oil on medium-low to medium heat and add chopped onions and shallots, cook approximately 2-3 minutes or until onions/shallots are clear and soft. Next, add garlic - continue to stir all and cook another 1-2 minutes longer to allow garlic to penetrate the oil and flavor to develop.
- Next add the prepared marinara sauce, chopped tomato, and can of crushed tomatoes, stir well and begin to add all dry seasonings. Continue to stir and allow sauce to begin bubbling. After sauce begins to bubble, stir in the red wine and add your Bay leaf. Next, add the shredded cooked chicken as well as the diced portobello, squash, & olives. Stir well and add the 1/2 teaspoon sugar, (this will help cut the acidity of the tomatoes and bring all flavors together nicely). Cover, and allow to cook for 10 minutes on simmer. You may want to check the consistency of the sauce to ensure it is not too thick, if so - add about 1/2 cup of water, though do so gradually and stir after each addition - you may or may not need that much water. If your sauce looks too thin, just take the lid off while the sauce is cooking on simmer to allow moisture to evaporate naturally. Of course the seasoned italian cook, (or chef) knows to taste the sauce to see if it is missing something, which you can then add what you think is missing. Salt & pepper to taste. Sauce can be left on Simmer for up to 30 minutes, as long as you check frequently and stir to ensure the bottom is not scorching. Serve with your favorite Al Dente Pasta, a good crusty bread (our favorite is Ciabatta), and of course use the best pecorino romano or locatelli cheese you can find & a glass of your favorite wine.