Tuesday, August 22, 2006

White Sauce with Chicken, Mushrooms and Peas

Leftover chicken-TRANSFORMED! (again)

I've been on a leftover chicken frenzy lately. I don't really enjoy eating roasted leftover chicken as it is. I like to make new concoctions with it. Recently, a recipe caught my eye in Cook's Country Magazine, that had a white sauce with sausage and peas.

It sounded really yummy but I always hesitate when an everyday recipe calls for heavy cream. I reserve eating things like fettucini alfredo for special, once in a blue moon occasions. Not only that, but I don't usually buy heavy cream anyway. And I did'nt have any sausage, either. I did, however, have some Simply Smart Fat-Free Half and Half in the fridge, along with a cooked chicken breast and 3/4 of a box of sliced mushrooms. LIGHTBULB MOMENT. Why not try making it with the leftover chicken, mushrooms and half and half? So I did...

White Sauce with Chicken, Mushrooms and Peas

Adapted from Cindy Szerlip's Cream Sauce with Sausage and Peas in Cook's Country Magazine
Makes enough sauce for 1 lb. of pasta

2 T olive oil
1 T Smart Balace Spread, or butter
1 shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
(I was in a hurry, so I used 1 tsp. of the pre-chopped jarred garlic)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
(Use more if you like it hot)
Cooked chicken from 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts, pulled into bite size pieces
3/4 box of sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup Simply Smart Fat-Free Half and Half
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp. white wine vinegar, or more to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Chopped fresh parsely for garnish

Add 1T oil and SB Spread to large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown on both sides, around 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining oil to skillet and lower heat to medium-low. Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. (I like to heat my garlic slowly over low heat because I think it really flavors the oil and gives the overall dish a much deeper more intense flavor.)

Add the chicken and mix with the garlic and oil until incorportated. Add in the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Add the broth and 1 cup of Half and Half, simmer until sauce reaches consistency of light cream, 6-9 minutes. (If the sauce seems too thin you can mix a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch with a tiny bit of cold water and stir in.)

Stir in the peas and heat until all the flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar, taste and season again if neccessary. Stir in cheese.

Toss sauce with cooked pasta, garnish with parsley and serve. (I used Tubini pasta, it cooks quick!)

Final word. It was good! I really enjoyed this dish. The browned mushrooms really added a nice flavor to the cream sauce and just a tiny bit of red pepper flakes added a great kick to an otherwise bland leftover chicken night.

Have you ever had a lightbulb moment when it comes to creating a new dish?


Meeta K. Wolff said...

WOW! this sure sound great Anni. And thanks for inviting me to visit your blog. There are a few good looking recipes here!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I love when I end up with a bunch of odds and ends that go together perfectly, but I probably wouldn't have gone out and bought those ingredients to make the new dish on my own. I had leftover grilled chicken, pepperjack cheese chunks and salsa from my cookout. I bought a package of tortillas and made the best quesadillas out of those few simple ingredients. Leftover chicken inspired me to make BBQ'd chicken pizza once and we've had it several times since.

wheresmymind said...

Generally can't eat leftover chicken in the same format...have to create something new!!

K and S said...

this looks nice!
thanks for stopping by my blog too.
would you mind if i posted you as one of the 5 blogs needed for blog day 2006?
take care.

Anonymous said...

I suck at transforming leftovers, I supposed its because I rarely make "just chicken", or "just beef". There's always some sort of sauce involved. I have bought an entire roasted chicken before, and because I'm only me, had a bunch leftover. The first time I ended up wasting a mess of chicken. The second time I made the best chicken salad ever simply by adding a few veggies. Now, if only I knew what to do with the rest of the chicken salad after I've eaten two sandwiches. I just don't dig on leftovers.