Pollo in Potacchio

What a blustery day!  The wind sounded eerily loud as I lay in bed early this morning and I wished Harvey didn’t have to get up early to go back to school.  I could have stayed where I was for a bit longer today.

Since it wasn’t raining, I decided to go ahead and walk the dogs in the forest.  I am scared of the wind and a forest is not a safe place to be on such a blustery day.  But I really wanted to walk and couldn’t think of anywhere tree free.  I also remembered the trees being set back from certain paths.  So I set off to do an hours walk.  Having passed a tree down,

and lots of branches on the ground,

I became more apprehensive.  The dogs enjoyed new greenery to sniff and widdle on.

But when the wind gusted, it really gusted and the noise was extraordinarily loud.  So I cut my walk in half and decided to walk as fast as I could.  Go for speed rather than distance became the new motto.  As I neared the car park the sun shone briefly and there were patches of blue sky.

I considered extending my walk but then another loud gust of wind came and I noticed one of the large pine trees had snapped its trunk and was only upright as it was leaning on another tree.  So I headed home hastily.

All I had consumed before my walk was hot water with cayenne and lemon.  So back home I made a pot of tea and scrambled eggs in a wholemeal pitta.

I haven’t had scrambled eggs for a while and really enjoyed them.

Breakfast was 9 WW points (2 medium eggs are 4 points, 1 wholemeal pitta is 4 and 1 tsp butter is 1 point).

I then popped over the road for a coffee at Sarah’s with Marion.  Sarah wanted to finish up all her Christmas goodies and hoped to offload them on us.  We were forewarned so it was no surprise and that is why I chose to eat after the walk rather than before so I arrived full up.  I was confronted with homemade shortbread, homemade Christmas cake and a tin of biscuits.  And I resisted them all 🙂 .   I was so pleased.

I had a typically amusing and interesting morning with the neighbours, who couldn’t stop laughing for long enough to pose for a photo which they thought I may like to grace my blog with!

I am so lucky to live over the road from such lovely people.

For lunch I had a delicious left over to use up.  On New Year’s Eve I made a wonderful chicken dish called Pollo in Potacchio.  Potacchio is an Italian dish from the Marche region of Italy and means a sauce made from tomatoes, onions, white wine and garlic.  Some definitions also include rosemary.  Similar to “pottage” meaning a thick sauce made from vegetables.   I found the recipe for Pollo in Potacchio on a blog which is new to me but I intend to visit regularly – Skinny Taste.  This blog makes recipes diet friendly without compromising taste.

This chicken dish was delicious on NYE and I hoped it would be again today.  I had kept it in the fridge and to reheat the chicken I put it in an ovenproof dish, covered it with foil and put it in the oven at 180 ° C for half an hour.

I was not disappointed.  I served it with 140 g of potato which I boiled in the skin and then mashed with 1 tbsp butter and some steamed broccoli.

Lunch was 12 WW points (chicken thigh = 4 points / 1 tsp olive oil = 1 / 50 ml wine = 1 / 142 g potatoes = 3 and 1 tbsp butter = 3 points).

This dish is so tasty it is hard to believe it is so low fat.  It also reheats perfectly so if you make it, make double and you have another meal ready.  Looking at these pictures is making me want to eat it again now!

Since I didn’t blog about it on NYE, here is how I cooked it.

Pollo in Potacchio

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 12 skinless chicken thighs on the bone
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp and 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 3 – 4 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Add 1 tbsp oil to a heavy based pan with a lid ( I used a Le Creuset).
  3. When the oil is hot, brown the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side.  When browned, transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the garlic and onions to the remaining oil in the pan for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the celery, carrots and red pepper and fry for a further 3 minutes.
  6. Add the wine and vegetable stock and scrape the pan to loosen any brown bits stuck to the bottom (de-glaze the pan).
  7. Add the tomatoes, season to taste and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes.
  8. Add the chicken and rosemary to the sauce, cover and cook slowly for another 30 minutes.  Check occasionally and if the sauce seems too dry, add water.

My sauce was not dry at all and I didn’t need to add anything.  In fact it was a bit too liquid so I removed the lid and let the sauce reduce.  The sauce was thick and full of flavour.  Yummy.

This was delicious and I will definitely make it again.

For dinner the little fella requested a spaghetti bolognese.  I made a very simple bolognese by frying a large onion, then the lean mince, adding chopped tomatoes, thyme and oregano and seasoning with salt and pepper.  I simmered it uncovered for at least an hour so the sauce reduced and became richer.

The children had theirs with pasta but I had mine with some oven baked Crown Prince pumpkin and some lightly steamed spinach.  That saves some points/calories and boosts the nutrient content.

I am so determined to lose weight this month, that to calculate the points in this meal accurately, I poured the bolognese in to a bowl and weighed it.  I then divided the bolognese in to 6 portions, 3 of which I froze and the other 3 I reheated.  I knew that 1/6 of a portion would weigh just over 200 g.  And I knew that 1/6 of a portion had 7 WW points (85 g lean beef mince = 6 points and 1 tsp olive oil = 1 point).

I had a few points left over and decided to use up 6 more from my weekly extras and have a slice of Christmas cake which was 10 points.  Harvey ate the rest so now it is all gone.

I am watching a programme called ‘Obese.  A Year To Save My Life’.  It is about very large people on a rapid weight loss programme.  The first lady weighs 25 stone and had to start with 4 hours of activity a day!  The trainer who organises the weight loss programme (and is incredibly gorgeous, which is a bonus) said that if you eat just 100 extra calories a day, every day, you put on a stone in a year!!!!  It is so easy to put weight on.  The programme is too focused on activity and not enough on the food for me but it is compulsive viewing.

Another day and I am a happy dieter who has managed her food correctly 🙂

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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