After a week of margaritas, Mexican, and Mother's Day meals, it's time to get back on track with a speedy, flavorful, and healthful Monday night dinner. When it comes to feeding loved ones, you can't go wrong with chicken cacciatore, the Italian classic. But instead of working with the course's traditional dark meat chicken thighs and flour-based brown gravy, use yesterday's leftover chicken breasts, along with tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, and onions. A chiffonade of basil and piquant capers add brightness. For the recipe, read more.

Lighter Chicken Cacciatore

Lighter Chicken Cacciatore


  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 pounds bone-in chicken breasts, halved crosswise (legs and thighs would work, too)
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. 1-1/2 cups orzo pasta
  5. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  6. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  7. One 8-ounce package mushrooms, thickly sliced
  8. One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  9. One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  10. 2 tablespoons drained capers


  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook, turning once, until golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and reserve the skillet.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orzo until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, half the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Set the skillet over medium-high heat; add the onion and mushrooms and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the pan, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the tomato sauce, capers and remaining basil; season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to 4 plates, top with the sauce and serve the orzo alongside.

Serves 4.

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