I quite enjoy meals that look fancy but take no time at all. No time, and no real skill. We had this on a week night but I would absolutely serve it for company – guilt free and elegant is a rarity but the two most definitely make friends in this dish.
Let’s talk about organic for a minute. Organic chicken is at least twice the price of regular chicken – this could put a serious hurtin’ on your grocery bill, no question there. It’s better for so many reasons (your body, your planet, our country’s food industry, etc). Just watch Food Inc, and you will surely agree. Now, I know all these things, but do I still have to suppress a squeal of delight when I see that Giant has Purdue chicken breasts “buy one, get one”? Ideals and realities are most definitely two different things.
Baby girl deserves some organic chicken, though, don’t you think? At Trader Joe’s you can get an organic “whole chicken” for about 12 bucks. Recently I roasted the whole chicken (I used to think this was hard until I did it – it’s not hard, it’s actually crazy easy), then picked every bit of meat off the bird. I chopped it up and then put about a tablespoon of water in the bottom of a muffin tin (a tbsp. in each hole). I divided the chicken up between them and froze the whole lot – then transfered it to a freezer bag. That sounds complicated, I know, but it wasn’t. I was left with 16 servings of chopped, cooked, organic chicken. A quick microwave and I have an easy protein for Tess, but I’ve been using it for LOTS of other things, including these mushroom caps! While this process does take a little extra time, it’s a great way to stretch the buck and feel good about what you’re serving your family.
Lastly, a word about Tarragon. Ever heard of it? It’s an herb used often in French cuisine, and pairs well with chicken. It’s always good to use herbs and spices you aren’t as familiar with (especially for your kids’ palates). However, if you don’t want to buy a whole jar of an unknown herb, substitute about 1 tbsp. of fresh basil (or the equal amount of dried basil).
Chicken and Herb Stuffed Portobello Caps
Serves 4 (2 each)
Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine – 300 calories per two mushrooms – 39 grams protein)
2 1/2 c. cooked, chopped chicken (dark or white meat)*
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
4 egg whites
1/4 c. (preferably) whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
8 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
*How the chicken gets cooked really doesn’t matter; you can poach it in simmering water (submerged), you can saute, bake, grill, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray foil with nonstick spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix chicken, onion, egg whites, bread crumbs, parsley, tarragon, pepper and salt until evenly combined.
4. Set mushroom caps, stem side up, on baking sheet. Spoon filling on top of each, dividing mixture evenly between them.
5. Top evenly with parmesan cheese.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken mixture is light brown. Serve immediately. Because you have veggies, dairy, and meat in this dish, I think sides that would work well would be whole wheat couscous or wild rice, as well as a side salad.