Chicken in Cacciatore Sauce

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Ingredients:

2 T olive oil, divided use
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bunch leeks, cleaned and sliced
8 oz mushrooms, rinsed, dried, and cut into thick chunks
1 (28 oz) can peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1/4 cup basil, torn in half
1/4 cup red wine
2 T parsley, chopped
1 t fresh rosemary needles, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
1 t brown sugar
1/4 t ground black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper
Salt to taste (but do you really need it?)

Directions:

Prep and measure all the ingredients before beginning.

In a large pan set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering and the pan is quite hot (do not let the oil smoke), add the chicken, turning frequently until is well browned. Then remove it to a plate and cover with foil. The chicken does not need to completely cook; it will finish in the sauce.

Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pan, swirling to coat, wait 30 seconds, and add the cleaned leeks. Stir for 4 minutes.

Raise the temperature to medium high and add the mushrooms, stir until they brown a little and release their liquids.

Add the tomatoes, basil, wine, parsley, rosemary, brown sugar, black pepper, red pepper, and if you are using it, a small pinch of salt.

Stir well, bring to a simmer, and return the chicken to the pan.

Bring to a low simmer, cover, and braise the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour. How long this takes will depend upon the thickness of the chicken. Some of them are massive, others dainty. Simmer until the chicken is so tender it easily cuts with a spoon.

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to suit you.

While the chicken cooks in the sauce, simmer up a nice pot of brown or converted rice, steam green beans, and toss together a nice green salad. Enjoy.

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