Hot Fluffy Rice
Italian Green Beans
Pears & Mandarin Oranges
Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink
The term cacciatore literally translates to hunter in Italian. It refers to game meat prepared hunter-style. Originally it was made from rabbit which was hunted down by Dad or Grandpa (or Mom or Grandma, I suppose). The fresh kill was then eviscerated, skinned, cut into pieces, browned in olive oil and simmered in a tomato wine sauce. Tomato and wine both tenderize coarse, stringy game, so they were the perfect way to turn cheap peasant fare into a dish fit for royalty. Nowadays cacciatore is most often prepared with chicken instead of fresh hunted rabbit. I’ve used canned chicken in a tomato wine sauce and it’s surprisingly good.
Cacciatore can be served over rice, gluten-free spaghetti or polenta (cornmeal mush). I’ve paired it with rice here, because that is the way my family likes it. Feel free to use another starch if your family prefers it that way.
Pollo Alla Cacciatora
I’ve used red wine in this recipe, but if you don’t use alcohol, the replace the wine with some of the broth drained from the chicken. If desired add a tablespoon of apple cider or balsamic vinegar for flavor.
- 2 (12-ounce) can chicken, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes with green peppers, undrained
- 1 (8-ounce) can mushrooms, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) jar or can pizza sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry minced onions
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1 dash red pepper flakes or ground red pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup red wine, optional
Gather the cans and place them in your meal box. Measure the items for Bag 1 and combine them in a small zipper bag or other resealable container. Place a copy of the recipe and meal plan in the meal box.
Open up all the cans. Drain the chicken. If you don’t consume alcohol, then measure 1/3-cup of the chicken broth from the canned chicken to replace the wine and discard the rest. Drain the mushrooms and discard the liquid. In a 3-quart saucepan combine the chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, pizza sauce and olive or vegetable oil. Measure the red wine. Pour the wine into the empty pizza sauce jar. Screw on the lid and shake the jar to dissolve all of the residue in the wine. Pour the wine into the pot with the chicken. Add the contents of Bag 1. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes so the seasonings have a chance to blend nicely. Serve over rice.
I usually prepare the rice first and then set it aside. Next I prepare the Chicken Cacciatore. While it’s cooking I make the green beans. This method usually allows everything to be hot and ready at the same time.
I almost always prepare this with the red wine because I think it adds so much to the flavor. I keep box-o-wine in my storage pantry because it tends to keep very well. If you don’t use wine then a little broth from the canned chicken makes a fine substitute.
Hot Fluffy Rice
- 4 cups instant white rice
- 32-ounces (4 cups) water
Measure the rice and place it in a zipper bag or plastic container with a good lid. Place it in the meal box along with the bottled water.
In a 2-quart saucepan with a good lid, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice. Return the water to a boil. Cover the pot. Turn off the flame. If possible wrap the hot pot in a towel or blanket. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes (or longer if necessary). Use as desired. Makes about 8-cups of cooked rice.
Country Style Italian Green Beans
Italian, or flat green beans are wider and flatter than conventional green beans. I usually use Allen’s brand, which are gluten-free. If you don’t want to use Italian green beans then regular cut green beans work just as well in this recipe.
- 1 (29-ounce) can Italian Green beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans cut green beans, no-added-salt
- 1 teaspoon brown or white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (only if the green beans are low-sodium)
- 1 tablespoon butter flavored shortening or dairy-free margarine
Place the green beans in the meal box along with the other canned goods. Combine the items for Bag 1 in a small zipper bag or other small resealable container.
Open the beans and place them in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the contents of Bag 1 and the shortening or margarine. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and boil hard for an additional 5-minutes. This gives the beans their traditional country flavor and texture.
Pears & Mandarin Oranges
Pears and Tangerines are both native to Italy. They are combined here to make a tasty fruit salad.
- 1 (15-ounce) can pears, packed in fruit juice
- 1 (11 or 15-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup
To Store & Prepare
Stash the cans in the meal box along with the other canned goods.
To serve, drain both fruits. Add the juice to the iced tea or fruit drink that you’re serving with the meal (see below). Cut the pears into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with the mandarin oranges in a serving bowl. To make more servings use a 29-ounce can of pears.
- 2-quarts to 1-gallon of water
- Your Favorite Instant Drink Mix
Determine if you will need 2-quarts or a full gallon of water to feed your crew. Measure enough Lemonade Mix or Instant Iced Tea or even kool-aid and sugar, to make the amount you need. If you prefer something sugar free like Crystal Light, that’s fine too. Store it in a zipper bag. Label it and place it in your meal box along with everything else. Stored water has a flat flavor, so your meal will be more appealing if you flavor the water you serve.
If you store wine-in-a-box, then consider serving wine to the adults with this meal.