I thought I’d share a recipe that I made up all by myself. I’m sure it is quite similar to loads of other ones; but this one is mine. It doesn’t have a name. When iDJ requested it for dinner tonight, I think he just called it ‘the chicken mushroom thing.’ No apologies for it being very salty, tasty, and rich…and rather American, probably…
Firstly: we like to take our time when cooking. We nearly always cook from scratch and we are never in a hurry. We never want to eat within twenty minutes of starting to cook. The main reason for this is that we both like to sit on our respective arses and have a drink and relax while the food is busy making itself edible. Cooking is fun and relaxing and never, ever, a pressured event.
Secondly: we are on a low carb diet, to recover from the Christmas fat we both piled on. We eat low-carb year round, excepting the holidays. This is a meal we’d have any time, more in colder months perhaps. But it is not high fat – low carb doesn’t mean high-fat to us.
Thirdly: it involves meat. Sorry, I know some of my readers don’t partake. Perhaps you’ll come along for the laugh, anyway.
Okay! Take some chicken, and cut it up into bite sized chunks. Stir fry it in oil with garlic, coarse ground black pepper, and parsley. I do grow both garlic and parsley, but it’s winter and I’m not going outside in the dark right now to get some. I don’t feel like cleaning and chopping, either, it’s Friday. So, straight out of the jars tonight. How much? Hell if I know. I just dump it on until it looks good. I usually add more garlic if it doesn’t smell garlicky enough while the chicken is browning. I love me some garlic.
While that’s going on, clean and cut up a punnet of fresh mushrooms. Hmm, my iPad doesn’t know the word punnet. It’s what I call the little plastic box they come in from the shop. A couple of handfuls, then. I like to cut them in big chunks, not thin sliced. Pretty much just cut em in half, unless they are huge. What kind? I don’t know. Have fun with it. Probably not portobellos, though.
When the chicken is sort of/mostly browned or cooked, reduce the heat down to low, and dump in a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. I prefer Campbell’s brand. Add some water, or milk, or cream, whatever you want. Not a whole can of water, etc, though. You want it kind of thick and goopy. Add the mushrooms and stir it all together, making sure the shrooms are coated. They will add more water to the soup-sauce while they cook, too. Cover the pan.
Go sit on your arse for a bit, and have a drink. This part can take as long as you like. Have two!
Stir the goop whenever you think about it, or when getting yourself a fresh drink. You wouldn’t want it to stick. But if it does, no big deal. It will still taste good. Just add some more liquid, it’ll be grand. If it is too wet, take the lid off and the liquid will steam away.
If you’re industrious, you can open a can of cannelini beans and let them drain in a sieve. You can also start microwaving some bacon. Use ‘streaky’ bacon, the American kind: not Canadian or Irish or English bacon. That stuff is too thick. You want it thin and crispy, but not burnt. The microwave is best for this, if you can keep it from sticking to the paper towels and annoying the hell out of you. The reason for the bacon is two-fold: mushrooms and bacon are made for each other, and the dish needs some crunchy texture.
Eventually, when you feel like it, add the drained – but not rinsed – cannelini beans. Dont rinse them, because bean-juice is a natural sauce thickener. You don’t want to add the beans too soon, because stirring the goop with the beans in is bad for the beans. They break and lose their skins; it just isn’t pretty. Be gentle when stirring the food after the beans are in. This is harder the more drinks you’ve had. Or easier, if you are getting sleepy.
Let it sit and simmer a while longer. Unless you’re hungry. In that case, you only have to wait until the beans are hot. It’s up to you. Me, I’m having another drink or two. I’ve made half the bacon, the other half is cooling in the nuker. I should probably peel it free of the paper and turn the microwave back on for another couple of minutes. But, I’m writing this. It’ll keep.
Let’s see… now I have to think of the next step instead of writing down what I’ve already done… good thing we’re almost done.
Scoop into bowls, and crumble the bacon on top at the very last minute. It really does need the crunch. Everything else has almost the exact same texture by now. Oh, I might add some more parsley before I serve it. I forgot parsley entirely once and the meal wasn’t the same.
I’d post a picture, but it isn’t nearly ready because I lied a little. I haven’t even put the beans in yet. And my glass is empty…