companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

French Hen in a Tree

Ever have one of those days when the kitchen seems to conspire against you? That would be today. Hen in a Tree is one of our family's favorite casseroles. I was making a Multiply Meal tonight when I discovered that my dry mustard was gone. Not just empty, but no longer in the spice rack. That is a mystery.

So, I decided to improvise. Then I went to the fridge to pick up the cream my hubby got at Sam's last night. Oops again. I guess I forgot to put that on the list. Improvise again. Gotta say, I still like it. In fact, the taste is pretty much the same. Because I was gambling, I only made two casseroles instead of the three. So glad this gamble paid off.

French Hen in a Tree

4 cups chicken, cubed and cooked with seasoning salt
1 can chicken broth
10-12 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 pound frozen broccoli crowns
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used Jack)

Cook chicken breast or thighs, sprinkling with seasoned salt. Steam the broccoli
until tender crisp. While these are cooking, place the broth, mustard and cream cheese in a saucepan. Heat and stir until cream cheese is melted in. Use a hand blender to blend in xanthan gum. Add 1 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and stir. Set this aside until chicken and broccoli are cooked. Chop or slice the chicken. Divide it between two small casserole dishes. Add the cooked broccoli over the chicken. Pour the cheese sauce over everything and stir lightly to coat everything. Top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350.

The dijon flavor is there, but not too overpowering. I served it with a salad. I made a balsamic vinaigrette to add some tartness and sweetness to such a cheesy recipe. Having no cream, this version of the dish has fewer calories than the original recipe in the e-book. I haven't run it in Mastercook yet though. We had some students over this afternoon and evening, and I am just now getting dinner over with. Now I need to go pack the other casserole for the freezer. I know we will appreciate this meal again on another day!

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