Before I jump into this week’s topic, I need to give some explanation. At first glance a recipe for my version of chicken cacciatore might not seem like much of a political or preparedness related topic. I assure you it is both.
I’m not much of a one to dump on the millennial generation. If you believe in the generational separations I’m technically Gen X but I was raised much as the Boomers were. We kept a garden, were a pretty close extended family, worked at things like shelling peas and shucking corn, hunted and fished for meat, went to church of a Sunday, and felt government assistance was a shame to take for ourselves. Both my grandfathers, Greatest Generation warriors, just knew how to do stuff, despite limited formal education and I absorbed a lot of that and the attitude of repair rather than junk and replace.
I am sadly and frequently amazed at the near helplessness of those younger than me. But I see much the same in a lot of Boomers who spent the last 30 years paying others to do for them rather than doing it themselves. The only difference is the Boomers remember seeing it done by their fathers, Millennials may never have seen how to use a socket set or butcher an animal or write a formal letter.
So, the art and science of making a simple and nutritious meal from common ingredients is becoming a lost art. Most cooking is knowing a few simple techniques and then applying them creatively to the ingredients available. If you can dice or chop or slice (and know when to do which), sauté and broil and fry (and know why you are choosing that method) and have some appreciation for what flavor combinations go well together then you can create an endless menu of food for yourself.
This is also the first step down the path to a self-sufficiency both from the modern on demand food delivery system and towards a truer form of independence for yourself. Want to be free? Then learn to do for yourself. Otherwise, what you must have others provide for you makes you their slave. This isn’t a call to Ludditeism or running off to the hinterlands to live in a commune. Simply a call to take back control of various aspects of your life. You will be amazed at how this will affect every aspect of who you are.
So, to the recipe. This isn’t a true chicken cacciatore. I had to improvise with those things available to me here in the Middle East. But that’s the point, isn’t it, improvise, adapt and overcome!
4 previously grilled chicken breasts (marinated in sesame oil, Italian dressing and garlic prior to grilling) chopped
4 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Most of a small jar pizza sauce
A few dashes onion powder (I would have used fresh diced onion if it had some, sweated out with the garlic and meat)
Sweet red paprika
Ground pepper and salt
Heat olive oil in pan on med high. Introduce meat, garlic, onion (if you have it)
Cook till garlic and onion are clear
Add sauce and spices and 2-4 tablespoons of Balsamic
Once sauce starts to bubble turn down to low and start water for noodles.
Once noodle water boils put in noodles and cook to al dente (noodles just turn color and easily cut with a fork against side of pot, but you still feel some resistance. Not mushy and pale white)
Drain noodles and drop into pot with sauce. Toss and enjoy.
I deliberately left out a lot of detailed amounts. You need to have the courage to just try. Go with smaller amounts than you think you need and taste frequently to see if you like it. Once you do, stop adding. You can do this!