Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taking A Chance

There have been times that I've prepared a meal for guests, family and potlucks without trying it first. If my memory serves me right, it's been an epic failure every time! I'm not sure how I can cook meal after meal for the six of us every night and have the majority turn out tasty but then pick something to try for a potluck and have it be dry and tasteless? With every failure, I vow that I will prepare something tried and true, that I will no longer experiment on innocent bystanders!

Then here I went again!

Last night it was my turn to cook dinner for our groups monthly meeting. There's anywhere from 10-20 people that attend and 90% of them are men. Since it was only me providing the entire meal I tried to make something that would appeal to everybody, something well known, easy to recognize and with minimal unique ingredients. Perfect time to refrain from trying something new!

Nope, not me! Refrain? Not usually! And boy am I glad I took the chance!
Check this out...
It's amazingly wonderful...

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti
2 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1/2 cup butter
16 oz fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth, fat free
1 1/2 cups milk, 2%
1/4 cup (additional) white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup black olives, chopped
1 pound thin spaghetti

Bring the broth to a boil. Break the spaghetti into thirds and add to the boiling broth. Boil for 5-8 minutes until tender. Drain spaghetti, reserving the liquid. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 cup of wine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid has completely evaporated, stirring occasionally. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Lower heat of skillet to medium low and add 6 tbsp of butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter, whisk to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 2 cups of broth (from the spaghetti pot) and whisk to combine. Pour in the milk, and the additional 1/4 cup of wine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, tasting after each sprinkle. Continue simmering until thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Add the mushrooms, chicken and olives and stir to combine. Check the seasoning level again and add salt and pepper as needed. Turn into a 9x13 casserole pan and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

And that my friends is a comfort food dish you will want to make over and over!

The way it's written above it will feed about 8 people and is only 11 points plus per serving. Next time I'm going to try and use less butter, or light butter, and see if that works. I've also seen low fat Parmesan that would help lower it even further. Oh, and not to forget, I bought a pasta extruder that will make thin spaghetti! It's much easier to control the fat and calories when you know exactly what's going in it! I'll post the difference when and if I try the changes - after all, 11 points isn't bad for dinner!

Sometimes you just gotta take that chance!

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