By Betty McTraveler
This month for Pros & Cons I made chicken and mushroom in spicy tomato sauce. What I loved when I made this was that my co-workers here at TRS started smelling what I was cooking and soon gathered in the kitchen to try it. Everyone who did seemed to enjoy it.
Because this is a microwave meal, the down side was that the chicken was slightly chewy. I’ve cooked a lot of chicken in the microwave, so I was already expecting this. But it passed the taste test to which several of my co-workers can attest. Some even wanted a second helping. The recipe is one of “eight easy microwave recipes” found online at totalbeauty.com.
When cooking, it smelled tasty, buttery and garlicky. It almost reminded me of Thanksgiving. My large plastic bowl developed a crack, and some of the buttery juices seeped through it. I’m unsure how this impacted the final outcome, but I swapped out the cracked bowl for a large glass bowl. When I tasted the chicken, it was spicy with almost a smoky flavor. The tomatoes nearly gave it a sweet taste, but that could’ve been the honey, too.
Food budget: $22.16
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 10 to 12 quartered mushrooms
- 1 large tomato
- 4 to 6 green onions, chopped (Save portion for topping at end)
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 3/4 cup tomato puree
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 5 turns of the pepper grinder, course grounds, or 5 to 6 crushed black peppercorns
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- Wash and blanch the tomato in a quarter cup of water in a large mug or bowl, covered, in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Remove, put in cold water, peel, cut into half, deseed and further cut into quarter inch cubes.
- Mix the butter, green onions, garlic, chicken cubes and salt in a deep microwave bowl.
- Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 4 minutes.
- Add diced tomato, tomato puree, crushed red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ground pepper and mushrooms.
- Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- Add honey and dried oregano to the tomato gravy, cover and cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle green onions and serve hot.
- Filling, tasty with a spicy kick.
- Mushrooms were surprisingly good. (I’m not a big fan of mushrooms.)
- Much healthier than the average frozen dinner.
- Chicken was slightly chewy.
- I should have used more mushrooms.
- Cooking and cleanup was about an hour.
Overall, I gave this recipe 3.5 out of 5 stars. Some minor changes included using 1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breast, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, sliced garlic and chopped green onions. One final thought: Don’t skimp on the mushrooms. I used about half the amount called for in the recipe and regretted it. They really absorb the sweet and spicy flavors and are glorious. If you give it a try, let me know how it went for you. Enjoy!