Sunday, January 02, 2005

Cream Cheese Chicken

Since my Dinner Ennui post got several comments, I'm inspired to share a recipe with you. Perhaps it will even encourage me to view dinner in a different light -- a challenge and not a drudgery.

Tonight I made Cream Cheese Chicken which I developed from a Cooking Light reader recipe I saw years ago. It violates my rule of cooking right before serving, thus its mainly served on the weekends when my DH is around to play with the kids.

Pardon the annoyance, but I feel like doing this in narrative. I use frozen boneless chicken breasts (or tenders) that I buy by the bag -- this way I don't have to plan, they are there on a whim. I poach the chicken in a saute pan (maybe about a pound of chicken) in water with some salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. I splash in any kind of white wine thats on hand. I cover and poach for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through. Meanwhile, I cook about a cup of rice, I really like Mahatma Jasmine rice (and it only takes 15 minutes, so I don't have the start the rice in advance).

After the chicken is done cooking, I remove it and cut it into bite-sized pieces. The poaching liquid becomes the base of the sauce, so if it looks like too much, I let it boil down for a few minutes (yes, I practice a method called 'faith cooking,' I used a recipe the first time and departed so far from it that I just sort of eyeball it now). To the liquid, I add half an 8oz tub of onion and chives cream cheese and half an 8 oz. tub of fat free cream cheese. I heat it to a boil and let simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken to my liking and then I add the cut up chicken to warm it. I serve it over the rice. We really like it, its rich and flavorful but not too fattening.

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