Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Chicken and hamburger are probably the two meats I cook with the most so when I come across a new, fun, quick recipe for either of these meats I'm eager to try it! The other evening I was browsing my favorite website for recipes ( and found a Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce recipe. My first reaction was that this would be fabulous! All I'd need to do was cook some chicken and then open a can of cream of mushroom soup! Well the recipe didn't call for the can of soup but rather fresh ingredients which added much more flavor and probably less sodium!

Here's the link to the page:

And for your convenience I've pasted it below with my comments!

Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce
From EatingWell: March/April 2008
2 servings

"The secret to a good cream sauce is always the same: not too much cream or it can be overpowering, masking the more delicate flavors. Here it contains a bountiful amount of mushrooms and is served over chicken breasts."

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

* 2 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 1 medium shallot, minced
* 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
* 2 tablespoons dry vermouth, or dry white wine
* 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, or scallion greens

1. Season chicken with pepper and salt on both sides.
2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once or twice and adjusting the heat to prevent burning, until brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
3. Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Pour in vermouth (or wine); simmer until almost evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Pour in broth and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cream and chives (or scallions); return to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, turn to coat with sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Per serving: 275 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat, 7 g mono); 84 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 1 g fiber; 373 mg sodium; 370 mg potassium.

My Notes!
First off I ran into a few problems at the grocery store. I couldn't find a shallot so substituted it with a small yellow onion. I also couldn't find cream and substituted it with light cream which was just as good and healthier! Some of the comments on the website said users tried baby bella mushrooms so I did that and liked it. I diced the chicken into bite-sized pieces before cooking so it would cook faster and could be eaten easier. Instead of canola oil I used olive oil which added a nice flavor. I used a white wine; chardonnay I believe. Other than this I followed the instructions and didn't have any trouble.

Menu Ideas
I served whole wheat rigatoni and green peas with the chicken and sauce. The green peas where from the frozen section and steam-in-the-bag so really easy preparation. I think it could've easily be served as a one-dish meal, tossing everything together in the pot. Just depends how you like everything to go down!

Would I eat/make this again? Yes!

Chilaquiles Casserole

The other evening I made a Chilaquiles Casserole from Eating Well is one of my favorite websites to visit. You can access the recipe and website here:

For your convenience I've pasted it here with my comments.

Chilaquiles Casserole
From EatingWell: June/July 2006

Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick. It can vary in heat level so find one that suits your taste. If you want to eliminate the heat altogether, try a green enchilada sauce (which is often milder than red) or substitute two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce.

10 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 medium zucchini, grated
* 1 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed
* 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
* 1 1/2 cups corn, frozen (thawed) or fresh
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 12 corn tortillas, quartered
* 1 19-ounce can mild red or green enchilada sauce
* 1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
3. Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the pan. Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the enchilada sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.
4. Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.

Per serving: 243 calories; 10 g fat (5 g sat, 4 g mono); 23 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 5 g fiber; 338 mg sodium; 267 mg potassium.

My Notes!
I used canned corn and whole wheat tortillas which was a slight variation from the ingredients. I had trouble finding the right can sizes in the grocery store so actually used to cans of black beans. I didn't have cumin in my seasoning collection and used a chile powder instead. This is a rather large casserole -- serves 10! I imagine it could be easily halved.

Menu Ideas
I served this casserole with yellow rice and a tomato-avocado salsa.

Would I eat/make this again? Yes!

Nudging Comment

I received a "nudge" via my last blog entry and a comment. With this comment and new blog entry I have decided to update the blog with a new title, layout, and theme!

This blog is now entitled "witty ponderings [[kitchenette edition]]" and I will now dedicated blog entries to cooking and my experiences in the kitchen!

I'm excited! This will not only allow me to share recipes and ideas with viewers but also a recorder for me.