Chicken Italiano (Primal…Whole30 Compliant without the Cheese)

Chicken Italiano

I’m not normally a big “tomato sauce” person.  I know, I know, as an Italian, I should be excommunicated or something.  I’ve never really like it all that much.  There are a few exceptions to that: PLAIN (no meat) tomato sauce over cheese ravioli is okay…though I’d rather just eat the ravioli dry.  I know, weird, right?  When I (rarely) feel like pizza, a LIGHT spread of sauce across the pie is okay, just to keep it moist.  It’s really just a vehicle for the toppings, which are either Canadian bacon and pineapple or sausage and cream cheese.  Never had cream cheese on your pizza?  My condolences.  You are SERIOUSLY missing out.  Like…really for real in real life, you are missing out on one of the greatest joys in the history of pizza.  What makes it even better?  Forgo the tomato sauce and use pesto instead.  Yeah…pesto, sausage, and cream cheese?  Best. Toppings. Ever.

Today I saw a picture of Chicken Parmesan, and while that didn’t sound good to me, the basic idea sounded like something I’d like to eat tonight.  Also, don’t ever ever ever mention Eggplant Parmesan to me, even on the days that tomato sauce sounds good.  Eggplant and I have a mutual understanding: I won’t eat it and it won’t hunt me down and weasel its way into my food.  It’s a texture thing.  It’s not really crunchy but not quite baby food consistency.  It’s kind of like rotten vegetables made into a panna cotta.  Yucky.  Oh well, there are 900,000 other vegetables that I enjoy, so I’m not going to lost sleep over the purple bulbous one!

Chicken Italiano

Serves 4-6

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (you can also use breasts if you want–just adjust the cook time)

salt and pepper

30-50 slices of pepperoni, sliced in half (I love the Boar’s Head kind)

1/3 C sliced calamata olives

3/4 C chicken broth

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 large cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp parsley

shredded mozzarella

1.- Lightly grease slow cooker bowl.  Place chicken in one layer on the bottom.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2.- Lay pepperoni on top of chicken and sprinkle with olives.  In small bowl, whisk tomato paste and chicken broth.  Mix in minced garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley.  Pour tomato sauce mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

3.- During the last 10-20 minutes, sprinkle each piece of chicken with some mozzarella and cover again to let it melt.  Carefully lift each piece of chicken out of the slow cooker and put on plates.  Either discard the extra sauce or spoon more over the chicken.

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