Originally created 09/22/99

Easy elegance



Chicken again? If you don't have time to heat up the grill, or can't face another baked chicken breast, today's recipe for chicken stroganoff will relieve you of chicken boredom.

Let's face it, we eat a lot of chicken today. And for good reason. Not only can it be prepared in a myriad of ways, it's also economical. Boneless chicken breasts are on sale regularly for about $1.99 a pound.

Individually quick-frozen chicken breasts also are a boon for busy families, allowing us to pull just the right number of breasts from a resealable bag and return the rest to the freezer for another time.

If you're like me, you're always on the lookout for something new to do with chicken. Today's recipe takes a classic beef preparation, stroganoff, and replaces beef tips with sliced chicken breast meat. The usual mushrooms and sour cream are still there, along with some cream of chicken soup. A beef bullion cube dissolved in half a cup of water adds a subtle richness to the dish.

This is a quick, somewhat elegant, family meal. Sure, it's another "dump dish" -- you toss convenience products together in a skillet -- but the end result is delicious.

Sliced fresh mushrooms from the produce department and stir-fry-ready chicken breasts can cut your preparation time substantially. If you have canned, sliced mushrooms on hand, go ahead and substitute two cans for the fresh; simply drain them well and saute in a little butter or margarine.

I'm not a huge fan of fat-free products. I've often had poor results when substituting fat-free for higher-fat counterparts in recipes. Today's recipe breaks the trend, however. Healthy Request low-fat and low-sodium cream of chicken soup and fat-free sour cream produce a creamy, delicious result.

Healthy Request condensed soups always are my choice when I cook for my family because they taste almost exactly the same as regular cream soups. Besides the reduction in fat content, they don't contain any added monosodium glutamate, an ingredient I try to avoid. Substitute them any time a recipe calls for cream of mushroom, chicken or celery soup.

Serve your chicken stroganoff over egg noodles or white rice, with steamed broccoli or carrots on the side.

Karin Calloway is a corporate chef and free-lance writer. You can write her in care of Newsroom, The Augusta Chronicle,P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30913. Or send e-mail to karingca@aol.com.

Chicken stroganoff

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves, about 3 halves, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 beef bullion cube disolved in 1/2 cup water
1 10-ounce can Healthy Request cream of chicken soup
1 cup fat-free sour cream
8 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked, or 4 cups cooked white rice

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and saute for 5 mintues, or until mushrooms begin to brown. Add chicken, chopped scallions and garlic and saute 3 to 5 mintues, until chicken is almost cooked through. Add beef bullion and cream of chicken soup and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Serve immediately over cooked egg noodles or rice.

Makes 4 servings.