dinner tonite

i’m still on a comfort food kick, and rachael ray recipes are still dangerous in my hands. mostly because they almost never really resemble what she intended them to be after i’ve gotten ahold of them. and that’s ok, too. i was awful proud tonite though, because her recipe for French Spring Chicken Pot from this month’s issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray (the 30 Minute Meals section) caught my eye and my version of it pretty closely resembled hers. minus a couple of ingredients, give or take. and it didn’t take 30 minutes. it took like an hour or more. but when i cook, i cook slowly. if i invite you for dinner, most likely it will be an hour before it’s done. especially if the oven is involved. oh well. but this dish was warm and lovely, almost like eating chicken pot pie filling with out the pastry. i made some fluffy dinner rolls (thanks Rhodes brand frozen rolls!) to accompany, but i think a loaf of crusty bread would be just as good (for dipping into the gravy-ish stuff. yum). 

I’m giving you Rachael’s exact amounts here, but mine varied wildly. i didn’t make all of what she did, i also didn’t boil my chicken breasts because i can’t stand boiled chicken.  

French Spring Chicken Pot 

You Need: 

4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast (i used one large breast for me and erik)
2 onions, 1 halved, 1 chopped (I used exactly 1/2 of one large white onion, all chopped)
1 bay leaf (i didn’t have any bay leaves)
3 tablespoons butter (probably. i like butter.)
1 baking potato, peeled and cut into small cubes (i used 2 medium russet potatoes, i think)
2 carrots (i used small ones) peeled and cut into cubes
3 small celery ribs, chopped
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced (I used 2 large-ish white mushrooms)
1/2 pound thin green beans (i didn’t use this much)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1 1/2 cups chicken broth 
1/2 cup frozen peas 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (i didn’t have any tarragon)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard (i didn’t have any regular dijon so i left the mustard out entirely)
1/2 cup heavy cream 
 

Rachaels’ first step is to boil the chicken with halved onion and bay leaf. I drizzled olive oil on my chicken breasts, salted and peppered and garlic powdered them, and baked them at 375 until it was nice and brown and the juices ran clear. I set this aside to cool and when it did, chopped it into small pieces. In Rachael’s version, you shred the chicken. Add butter to a pot. When melted, add the chopped vegetables (in my case, i sauted the onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms and potatoes). Cover and cook until the veggies are softened. Add the green beans and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over all. Stir it for a minute. Stir in the wine, scraping the brown bits up. Cook it until it’s reduced a bit. Add the chicken broth and simmer. Stir in the peas (and tarragon and mustard at this point if you’re using it – I didn’t). Simmer it for a bit. Add the chicken to the veggies. Stir in the cream and heat it through. 

I had to wait for the potatoes to get done before i could add the peas et al, so it took me a lot longer than the 5 minutes of simmering her recipe calls for. but it let the whole thing thicken up really nice. remember to taste and adjust your seasonings. and i hope this recipe made sense. 

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