Chicken Breast in a Red Wine Sauce
As I’ve said in a previous post, you can view the recipes online, and here is the link that:
About the Recipe
This is a Chef Meg makeover on Chicken Cacciatore (aka Chicken Hunter Style) (Galvin 197). Chicken Cacciatore has been a dish I’ve wanted to make for some time but have no idea how to describe it. Therefore, according to wiseGEEK.com, Chicken Cacciatore is an Italian stew consisting of chicken, mushrooms, and spices, such thyme and parsley. (If anyone wants to give more insight, please comment below.) What caught my eye and one of the reasons I chose this recipe is it uses red wine; from watching cooking shows on making healthier recipes, wine, be it red, white, etc. can be considered empty calories and replaced in some cases. One note made about wine, and is a general rule of thumb, is to only use wine you would actually drink (Galvin 197).
Ingredients and Shopping
In order to prepare this dish, you will need a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a lid. At the first, I thought cast-iron, which can be appropriate to use. However, the use of anything cast-iron is normally specified in the recipe. From talking to a manger at Bed, Bath and Beyond, a heavy bottom saucepan is where the metal is all throughout the pan, which apparently allows it to cook more evenly. (That answer still confuses me, and please comment to give clarity.) When trying to find this type of saucepan, some keywords to possibly look for are heavy-gauge and hard-anodized.
In addition to getting the pan, I went to 2 other stores to get the rest of the ingredients:
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods
Making and Tasting the recipe
Making the recipe was simple enough. Although a little prep work and stirring is required as specified in the directions, most of it is letting burner and pan do the work for you. An optional and classic garnish to this dish is pearl onions (Galvin 197). Despite a little cooking, you are kind of biting into them raw, which concerns me.
Although this recipe is a lighter version of Chicken Cacciatore, the sauce looks to be somewhat rich. As I tasted, it had a great heartiness to it from many of the ingredients, including the red wine. When my roommate wasn’t around, I was actually licking the sauce off the plate. Despite the concern about the pearl onions, it is a good garnish; having that crunch retained was refreshing with everything else being tender. In addition, the sweetness of the pearl onions and the onion in the sauce helped to balance the dish. The chicken was well-season though a little overcooked. That said, the goof-up was on my part than the recipe.
The recipe didn’t specify what mushrooms to use, and normally when a recipe does that, white button mushrooms are typically used (or least I think). However, that wasn’t the best decision. Even though it wasn’t bad, the mushrooms really didn’t offer anything beside bulk. In the future, I’ll probably use something like a crimini since it has an earthiness that may better compliment the heartiness of the sauce. In addition, I may swap the chicken breast with turkey breasts. Although it is starting to deviate from the recipe a bit, turkey has a gaminess that may add to the recipe while having the benefit of being a lean protein.
Since this cookbook is focused on the healthy, it’s no surprise they have some nutrition info with almost each recipe. Since I am doing that myself with a different database than SparkPeople, I think it may be interesting to see how they compare. Like the recipes, they are available online, and I will post what I calculate for this test in a comment below.
At first, I was surprised by how low almost all the nutrients, especially the calories, were in the book and thinking, “How did they do that?” After my number crunching, the two were way off, as mine has almost 100 more than stated in the book. Still confused, I checked online, which they have info for both 6 servings and 4. The one for 6 is similar to the book with the one for 4 is closer to what I got for most of the nutrients. Despite the error, you’re still getting a great value for your nutrition buck with this recipe.
To look at the nutrition from SparkPeople, click on the link (for 4 servings) below:
On the website, they give recipe ratings out of 5. Thus, at least for this test, I will follow the same rating. For this recipe, I will give it a 4.5. I may tweak a few things, but that sauce was amazing!
If want to comment, critique, etc. feel free to post below and let me know what you know think.
- Ellis-Christensen, Tricia. “What is Chicken Cacciatore?” WiseGeek. Ed. O. Wallace. 2013. Conjecture. 22 Mar. 2013 <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-chicken-cacciatore.htm>.
- Galvin, Meg, and Stepfanie Romine. “Chicken Breast with Red-Wine Sauce.” The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2011. 197.
- Galvin, Meg. “Calories in Chicken Breasts with Red Wine Sauce.” SparkRecipes. 22 Mar. 2013 <http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calories.asp?recipe=1486520>.
- Galvin, Meg. “Chicken Breasts with Red Wine Sauce.” SparkRecipes. 22 Mar. 2013 <http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1486520>.