glutenfreebymarriage

January 23, 2013

Chicken and Mushroom Stew

Filed under: chicken, dinner, gluten-free — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:27

chicken and mushroom stew over white rice

The recipe below is shown as it was originally written. The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Chicken and Mushroom Stew (Prevention Guide Slow Cooker Recipes 2006, p.9)

ingredients:

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup + half a soup can of water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2″ chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Additions:

  • 2 cups uncooked brown or white rice

Changes:

1 10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup + half a soup can of water: The only gf cream of mushroom soup that I can find locally is Progresso Creamy Mushroom soup.  The Progresso is a much larger can, 18 oz, and is not condensed so I just used the soup and skipped the additional 1/2 can of water.

Note: Progresso’s Creamy Mushroom soup is not a great substitute when you need a thick condensed cream of mushroom soup but does work in this recipe because the directions call for half a can of water to dilute.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves:  I probably would have spent the extra money on boneless, skinless chicken breasts if they were going to be served as chicken breasts, but I’m too cheap poor to spend $3.99 a pound for something that is going to be chopped up.  I used about 1 3/4 pounds of boneless thighs and didn’t bother to cut them into bite size pieces.  (They fell apart into smaller pieces during the cooking process.)

1 cup baby carrots: Really?  Yes, baby carrots are cute on an appetizer tray, but I can’t rationalize the extra cost just so it looks cute in a stew.  I used the carrots I had on hand and chopped them into three inch pieces.  I would much rather spend the extra money on organic carrots.  There is a noticeable enough taste difference between organic and non-organic carrots that it’s worth the extra money.  (It also makes me wonder what other veg taste like when they are not covered in pesticides, etc…)

spices:  I also added 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary and sage to the pot.

Directions:

  1. Combine soup and water in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Place in slow cooker.
  3. Add mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic powder.  Stir gently to mix.
  4. Cover and cook on low 6 – 8 hours.
  5. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
  6. Serve chicken stew over cooked rice.

This isn’t the prettiest looking meal I’ve ever put on the table, but most things that come out of a slow cooker aren’t.   It was easy, convenient and tasted pretty good.  The only change I would make would be to add a little more salt next time.

Thoughts on Creamy Condensed Soups

One of the problems with trying to cook gluten free is that many of the fast & easy casseroles rely on condensed soup for structure (glue) and moisture and there are no gluten free condensed soups.

There are quite a few excellent recipes online for making a homemade condensed soup base that you can whip out to make your own gluten free condensed soup, but they are mostly dairy based and as Mr. GF is also Mr. Lactose Intolerant it’s not really a great improvement.  I could substitute soy powder for the powdered milk called for in most of the recipes, but Mr. GF’s grandmother died of breast cancer and I am leery of putting too much soy in his diet.

Since condensed soups seem to be more about consistency than taste (a salty gelatinous flour and water paste) I’m thinking that mashed potatoes or cauliflower with a smidgeon of broth might do the trick.  It could always be thickened with potato or corn starch.    Even better, I’m wondering if I could make a mix from mashed potato flakes, powdered bouillon and potato starch.   What do you think?

I’m thinking that it sounds really easy and that I should probably give it a try.

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