Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms

This is a one-pot chicken dish in a creamy mushroom sauce. After a bit of trial and error, I've found a foolproof way for making a white sauce in the same pan and with no annoying whisking or roux making. I serve this with pasta or rice for a tasty quick and substantial supper. If you have any leftovers, mix the pasta and chicken together, top with cheese and bake for 15-20 mins to make a great pasta bake.

2 skinless chicken breast fillets
350g white mushrooms (or a mixture of varieties - you can buy them ready chopped)
500ml semi-skimmed milk
2 heaped tablespoons plain white flour
1 tablespoon cream cheese
Glass of white wine (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 good quality chicken stock cube
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh herbs of your choice

Serves 4

Slice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Chop the mushrooms up roughly.

Put the oil in a heavy saucepan or casserole dish and place on a medium heat. Add the garlic and chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms, crumbled stock cube and glass of wine (if using - replace with water if not). Gently cook for about 5 minutes again, until the mushrooms are softened.

In a large mug or jug, stir the flour with a splash of cold milk. Gradually add a bit more milk and keep stirring until all the milk is added - if you do this gradually (like making powder paint!) it should make a thin solution with no lumps. Pour this mixture into the pan with the chicken. Cook gently for about 10 minutes on a low simmer until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Finally, stir in the cream cheese.

Season to taste and garnish with some fresh herbs - sage is good or basil, if you are eating with pasta.

Arthritis diet notes:
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein. We need protein for growth and repair in our bodies. Athletes, children, pregnant women and people recovering from illness or injury all need a little extra to help their bodies maintain muscle. Protein in meals also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer. Current guidelines suggest that we need about 0.8-1g of protein per kg of body weight, although some people advocate much higher intakes. Too high intakes have been linked to kidney problems.

It's best to avoid eating more than a couple of servings of red meat a week. Red meat has more saturated fat so is less healthy for your heart and has been linked to an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

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