Yesterday I was sitting at home sipping on a lovely cup of tea, recovering from a bit of a stressful day. Benji and Baxter had to make a visit to the vet – all planned, no emergencies – to get a blood test as they are on regular medication and the vet wanted to check that it wasn’t doing any damage to their livers etc. We find out the results later in the week so I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that everything is ok as the medicine does make a huge difference to them.
The main stress was that Benji in particular is not very friendly to strangers including the vet and had to be sedated. Even after the sedation he was still quite lively and I felt in need of some sedation myself. Luckily everything got done and once the ordeal was over Benji allowed the sedative to take affect and gently nodded off on the drive home. First time in ages he has not managed to vomit in the car. So there were small mercies.
And I further de-stressed through a lovely load of carbs with this easy chicken pasta by Stephanie from the Cozy Cook (aka my personal form of sedation). It is not a fancy meal, just good all fashioned pasta with chicken. The ingredients are simple and while I was a bit dubious about the gravy mix to begin with, it works and gives everything a hint of Bolognese.
To cook this for one I used the following ingredients:
- 2 tsp of traditional gravy mix (I like to buy the stuff in a tin as it keeps better and I don’t use that much at a time)
- 130g of skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbs of plain flour (all purpose)
- 1 tbs of vegetable oil
- 1/4 of a brown onion, sliced
- about 100g of diced tinned tomatoes (1/4 of a tin)
- 1/4 cup of dry white wine
- 50g of linguine or a thin spaghetti
- 1 tbs of pecorino or parmesan, grated
I followed the original recipes but I found I was able to cut back the cooking times – especially for the initial cooking of the chicken. I only cooked the chicken for 5 minutes until it was browned and the lovely caramelization adding some flavour. I figured that given the chicken cooks in the sauce for a reasonable amount of time after this I was pretty safe with the chicken being fully cooked through. As soon as the chicken was simmering I got the water on for the pasta and basically let the sauce cook for the amount of time it took to get the pasta cooked – about 20 minutes.
I also dissolved my gravy mix in hot water. I did try cold water as suggested by the original recipe the first time I made this and the gravy mix just would not dissolve and using hot water made no difference to the final taste.
Preparation time for this recipe is only about 5 minutes. Cook time with my adjustments was 35 minutes. If you are really pinched for time I reckon you could get the pasta on sooner and cook the sauce for less time. But if you are really pinched for time I would go for a super quick dish like this caramelized black pepper chicken that you can have on the table in well under 30 minutes.
I added pecorino to my pasta at the end – I am not very good at eating tomato based pastas without my hit of cheese. But the original recipe didn’t include this element so leave out if you want a lower calorie dish. With the cheese there is about 630 calories. I might use less oil next time to get the calories down – I don’t think that will affect the taste.