Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chicken A La King and Garlic Beans (Recipes, Pics, Review)

I came across this recipe on dLife and it brought back memories of one of my favorite childhood dinners.  Except when I was a kid it came out of a can, and I'm sure was out the roof with fat and sodium.  This recipe is not.  I was very excited to try this one, and I was even more excited that it looked so easy.  If you haven't noticed by now, I really like easy cooking.  I mean, really, who says it has to be complicated and take forever for it to taste good?  If the contestants on "Chopped" can make gourmet entrees with weird ingredients in 30 minutes, then I should be able to make something with ingredients as basic as chicken and a recipe in front of me in about the same, right?

The ingredients you will need are:

4 oz mushrooms
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 C fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 C powdered nonfat milk
1/8 tsp white pepper (I don't keep that in my cupboard so I just used black pepper)
1 lb diced up cooked chicken breast
1/4 C pimento peppers, diced or chopped

And it's super easy to make...

1.  Put oil in saucepan.
2.  Chop up mushrooms in small pieces and put in pan.   Cook over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together broth, cornstarch, dry milk, and pepper until smooth.
4.  Add mixture to mushrooms and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally.
5.  Add cooked chicken and pimento to the sauce and heat to serving temperature.
6.  Serve over whole grain toasted bread.

I served this with a side of garlic beans.  They are super way easy to make, too.

4 oz chopped up mushrooms
1 Tbsp minced garlic (I used 2 good sized cloves)
Black pepper to taste
1/2 C fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
1 lb fresh or frozen green beans

1.  Put chicken broth into the crock pot that was sprayed with pan spray.
2.  Put minced garlic in the pot.
3.  Put the green beans in the pot.
4.  Sprinkle with pepper.
5.  Put mushrooms in pot.
6.  Cook covered on high heat for about 3 hours.  Serve.
How easy is that???  I love crock pot dishes that you dump everything in and leave it to do its thing.  Here's what my dish looked like, with a few explanations.  First, I didn't have any really good, wholesome whole grain bread on hand, so I just used generic store brand wheat.  Second, the chicken looks a little skimpy because I unexpectedly had extra mouths to feed and had to stretch it a little.  To make additional sauce I whisked together 1C milk (1%) with 1 Tbsp cornstarch and threw it in with the chicken broth sauce.  I probably could have let it get a little thicker, too, but I was getting crunched for time.

This is super good on the nutritional stats!  For just the Chicken A La King, chicken and sauce, without the bread here are the facts for 1/6 of the mixture, about 3/4C or so, give or take:  193 calories, 7.4g fat, .6g saturated fat, 1.3g polyunsaturated fat, 2.7g monounsaturated fat, 64mg cholesterol, 369mg sodium, 77mg potassium, 2.3g carb, 27g protein.  (5 Points Plus)

The green beans are (for about 1/2C):  36.5 calories, 47.5mg sodium, 214mg potassium, 6g carb, 2g fiber, 1.8g protein.

Add in your favorite whole grain bread, toasted, and you've got yourself one healthy meal.  My family loves biscuits and gravy, which is off our list now because of the fat, calories, carbs, etc.  This, for them, was reminiscent of that.  I served theirs with a jumbo biscuit, but when I realized how that one biscuit totally decimated the health stats, I opted for a couple slices of wheat bread for a fraction of the calories, carbs and fat.  But some good, dense whole grain bread would have been even better.  For me, the taste was even better than what I remembered as a kid getting from the canned chicken a la king.  It sure does make a difference when you use real ingredients!  My whole family, plus our guest, really ate up this dish quickly.  I would have liked it even better if I had the time to let the sauce get a little thicker.  The garlic beans were a big hit with everyone, even the kids. 

I hope you try this recipe.  I think you will really enjoy it.  And, bonus, it was so easily converted to vegetarian for Sami.  Before I added the chicken to the sauce, I scooped out a cup of it and put it in another little pot with her cut up Quorn brand vegetarian chicken.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  Oh...I forgot!  When I cooked up the chicken I sprinkled it with pepper and just a little garlic powder to season it.

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Eat Healthy!
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