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Nana's Chicken & Peppered-Herb Gravy
The best part of trying a new recipe is that you can tweak it to suit your family's palate. This chicken and gravy recipe has loads of flavor and is simple to prepare. It is also easy to adjust to please the more fussy members of your family.
In my house, making any recipe more than one time means it is a winner. This is one of those recipes I make often. I have made it for church gatherings where the only thing left in the dish by the end of the meal was the serving spoon so; I would say that makes it a success.
PREP & COOK TIME - 25 minutes
SERVINGS - 4
4 Large chicken breasts; bones & skin removed
1 - 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Zatarain's Creole Seasoning
2 Tablespoons dried basil*
1 1/2 Teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 Medium white or yellow onion
1/2 - 3/4 Teaspoon minced garlic
4 Tablespoons margarine (I prefer ®Smart Balance but any will do)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
Water, 11 ounces (one soup can)
1/2 Teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 Teaspoon cumin
1/4 Teaspoon dried chives
Cut chicken into pieces, not too small or it will get tough when you cook it, sprinkle with Zatarain's Creole seasoning, oregano, 1/2 of basil and cayenne pepper. Chop onion & set aside. Melt margarine in saucepan, when margarine gets hot enough to sizzle, set to medium-high heat; carefully add onions, garlic and chicken pieces.
Brown chicken on both sides, remove from pan and set aside. The onions and garlic should be brown and sticking to the bottom of the pan by now. Drain the margarine from pan being careful to save the onions and other yummy bits in the bottom.
Return pan to medium-high heat; add cream of chicken soup and one can of water. Using a whisk, mix soup and water together in saucepan - all the while scraping the bottom to loosen the bits. Gravy will change to a darker brown as it simmers. The depth of color will depend on the amount of 'yummies' left behind and degree to which they were browned with the chicken. Return chicken to pan, add mustard, cumin and remaining basil; bring gravy to a boil while stirring reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is done and gravy is reduced to the consistency you prefer. Sprinkle chives over chicken and gravy just before serving.
Serve with wild rice or pasta & vegetables of choice. Broccoli with Italian seasoning, lemon juice and parmesan cheese is particularly good with this chicken. Do not forget the rolls or biscuits for sopping!
TIPS & MORE:
- This is far from a healthy dish. It is full of fat and sodium. I would not recommend it for those who are watching their waistline and/or salt intake.
- Chicken should have an internal temperature of at least 165°F according to Food Safety.gov
- Use less Zatarain's Creole and powdered cayenne pepper if your family is not in the habit of eating spicy foods.
- Mix the soup and water in bowl and then add to the pan, if you prefer.
- Adding more water will makes a much thinner gravy that is good over wild rice.
- *Set a small portion of basil aside to sprinkle over chicken with the chives before serving.
Finally, the one bit we cannot adjust. This recipe comes from an untitled work in progress (cookbook) by Jacqueline Cross. It is for personal use only. Please do not distribute multiple copies or add it to a collection without prior written permission. Ms. Cross thanks you from the bottom of her little pea-pickin' heart.