Creamy garlic chicken and lockdown brain.

The last month has been both the longest and shortest ever. Still working off my “just for two weeks” temporary kitchen, which is a constant source of frustration. My jeans have also been gradually getting tighter, so a slightly new approach is needed.

My sister in law recommended the A Pinch of Nom cookbook. I usually run away from anything with the word “diet” attached, as in my personal experience it’s all a bit misery and penance. Even if I’m trying to reduce I want to eat delicious things. This book seemed to have actual real food ingredients in it, so I picked one up.

There are quite a lot of mushrooms, peppers and the like in the recipes, as you get a lot for your calorie buck. If you’re not a fan, you’ll find the portion size a lot smaller and less filling, I’d imagine.

Everything in the steps is super straightforward. First, slice and brown some chicken.

Remove from pan, add Worcester and vinegar and deglaze. Then in with the big bowl of veg – mushrooms, onion and garlic.

These need a few minutes of cooking down before the stock goes in, and is reduced. Then in with the light cream cheese, and return chicken and juices to the pan.

Getting the cream cheese to melt is a little fiddly and even though I reduced the stock, it would have been better to just start with less liquid in it rather than adding it just to take it out again.

I stuck on some pasta at this point. I know that chicken and pasta are just not done in Italy, but it’s a crowd pleaser here. It’s wholegrain as well as Boy Wonder is on a fruit and veg strike right now.

Simmer, simmer, simmer. Adjust seasoning, drain pasta, combine.

A little smoked paprika on top really kicks it up a notch.

This was very nice indeedy. I’m not convinced of it with pasta, but it was the easiest carb to deal with that evening. It’s be fab as potato-topped pie filling, which is what I may do with it next time, once I have an oven.

Overall, clever and simple, though the recipe prep and cook times were about 50% underestimated to me. I’ve picked out my next recipe already!

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