Making comfort food in the winter

chicken mushroom and broccoliCooking is not my thing. What I dread more than the actual cooking is the clean up after the meal. My goal for most meals is to cook a simple, delicious meal with very little clean-up. Therefore, one pot meals are my favorite. Winter seems to scream for stick to your ribs, comfort foods made in one pot. I love them! One of my favorites is a chicken mushroom broccoli dish I’ve been making for years, though I am not sure when I came up with this recipe. If memory serves me, I think one of my roommates from college used to make it and I have twisted it into my own dish.

Anyway, if you need some comfort food, which is delicious and easy to prepare, perhaps you should try this.

Chicken Mushroom with Broccoli

I love our cast-iron Dutch oven for this meal. If you do not have one, simply use a large heavy casserole dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp canola oil or other oil that won’t burn at a high temperature
  • Chicken, cut up– enough to feed your family
  • 2 cups of cracked wheat, quinoa, rice or other grain
  • 3 cups of chicken broth (if there’s not enough homemade handy, we use organic, free range, low sodium chicken broth by Pacific or Imagine)
  • 1 cup cream of mushroom soup (again if you don’t have any homemade, we use creamy Portobello mushroom soup by Imagine)
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (be adventurous, use several varieties)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic cut in half (always let your garlic sit for 10 minutes after it has been chopped/minced/crushed to allow for the chemical reaction that creates allicin, which is the chemical behind all of garlic’s health-promoting benefits –immune boosting, antibacterial, antimicrobial, cardio-tonic, and anticancer. Here’s what happens: a sulfur-based compound called alliin and an enzyme called alliinase are separated in the garlic’s cell structure when it is whole. Cutting garlic ruptures the cells and releases these elements, allowing them to come in contact and they form the magical new compound called allicin. If you don’t wait, you don’t get the healing properties.)
  • 2 cup broccoli, cut up
  • 1 cup of carrots, cut up
  • 4-5 inch strips of astragalous root (they look like tongue depressors) – Not a must, but a great herb for boosting your immune system. I like adding it to all my stews and soups during this time of year, to help us fight off any cold and flu viruses. It is not meant to be eaten, only for releasing its medicinal qualities, so remove before serving. You can find it at a Mountain Rose Herbs or Chinese herbal shops.

Coat pan with oil, sear chicken until skin is brown and crispy, then remove. Pre-heat oven to 375°. Add grain to Dutch-oven or oven proof dish (if using quinoa, wash and soak in water for 15 minutes prior to using, it helps soften it up). Add chicken broth, astragalous root, garlic, ½ of the mushrooms, ½ of the broccoli, ½ of the carrots, and then lay seared chicken (skin up) on top. Add remainder of mushrooms, broccoli, and carrots, then pour cream of mushroom soup on top, cover, and put in oven for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is done and quinoa is cooked.

Enjoy this yummy dish and rejoice in the fact that you only have one pot to clean!

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