Saturday, March 04, 2006

Recipe for Chicken and Asparagus with Curry Sauce (updated)

If you're the kind of cook who would turn his or her nose up at a recipe containing canned soup, you can just click through to the next blog now, no offense taken. But if you're open to the idea that sometimes convenience ingredients can actually taste good if used properly, this is a delicious recipe. In fact, one time the two committed foodies Rand and Bradley arrived at my house, starved after being delayed at the airport, and I pulled a couple of packages of this out of my freezer, cooked some rice pilaf and made a salad, and they both proclaimed it to be a fabulous meal. After that kind of reception I decided it was time to retrieve this recipe from the archives and give it a photo.

If you've worked in a school, you know how those books show up in the faculty room for teachers to buy. This recipe came from a book I bought that way called Taste of Home Casserole Cookbook. I did adapt the recipe quite a bit adding more spices, using fresh asparagus, and leaving off the cheese topping. I'm not a big canned soup fan any more, and just for the record, I did try making this once using a thickened chicken stock sauce instead of the canned soup, and it wasn't nearly as good. However, that's surely an option if you're against canned soup.


Chicken and Asparagus with Curry Sauce
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe adapted from Taste of Home Casserole Cookbook.)

Ingredients:
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. poultry seasoning to season chicken before sauteeing (I use Penzeys)
fresh ground black pepper to season chicken before sauteeing
1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 can cream of chicken soup (preferably Campbells, not low fat or low sodium)
1/2 cup low fat sour cream (don't use fat free sour cream with added sugar)
1/4 cup mayo (don't use fat free mayo with added sugar)
2 tsp. sweet curry powder (or less to taste) (I used Penzey's sweet curry powder)
2 T fresh lemon juice (or less to taste)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray 9 x 12 inch glass casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, season both sides with poultry seasoning and fresh ground black pepper, and saute in olive oil until well browned on both sides.

While chicken cooks, cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces. (Hold one piece by the ends and snap to see where the woody stem is, then trim all pieces to that length and then into 2 inch pieces.) Put asparagus into salted water to cover, then bring to a boil. Take off heat immediately as soon as it comes to a boil and drain well.

When chicken is browned, remove from pan and deglaze pan with 1 T water and lemon juice. Turn heat to very low and add soup, then whisk in curry powder and cook 3-4 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and mayo and heat but do not let it come to a boil.

Cut chicken crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces and place in bottom of casserole dish. Chicken should completely cover the bottom of the dish; if it doesn't use a smaller size casserole dish. Put blanched asparagus in a layer over chicken.

Pour sauce over chicken and asparagus. Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and top is slightly browned. Serve hot.

I doubled the recipe and made this in a big 15 X 10 glass casserole dish, but I'm giving you the recipe for a standard rectangular glass dish. If you have a bigger dish, consider doubling it; this freezes very well. For best results, thaw in refrigerator, then reheat in the oven. If you opt to microwave it, be careful not to heat it too long or the sauce will separate.


South Beach Suggestions:
Due to the canned soup, mayo, and sour cream, this is probably a "once in a while treat" for the South Beach Diet, although you're not eating a huge amount of the sauce. This is great with rice for phase 2 or 3.
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14 comments:

  1. Looks so good! I'm not a big fan of asparagus but I think I could go for this with broccoli or string beans... sounds like it's time for me to experiment!

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  2. That does sound good, in a goofy ol' '50s kinda way. (But, of course, goofy "gourmet" '50s!) :D
    Yeah, Michele, broc would work well.

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  3. Lovely dish, lovely plate too ;-)

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  4. So the base came from a can ... it still looks delicious to me. I admit to the occasional misbegotten food snobbery but I usually thwap myself in the head after I tasted the dish. All that matters is that is tastes, looks nad is good for you, right?

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  5. The recipe looks like fantastic comfort food; thanks for sharing.

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  6. Great site! Just started my blog - just to let you know I'm here! Try these Curry Recipes and I'll be happy.

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  7. Kalyn,
    Thanks for the great recipe. Just made it tonight and it was fantastic! My husband & I are still in Phase I and would make this dish even if we weren't doing the SBD! Thanks again for all of your wonderful recipes!

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  8. Guamwoman, so glad you liked it. Are you living in Guam? My sister lived there for a while.

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  9. Hi Kalyn,
    No, just grew up on Guam (and we weren't even military!) and it's still home to me! I hope your sister enjoyed her time there. It's a lovely island.
    I'm going to be making your Med. Beef Stew w/Rosemary today, as well as your Triple Almond Cookies. Looking forward to them both. Thanks again for all of your excellent recipes!

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  10. I tried this recipe tonight! It was really, really good. The sauce tasted very similar to how i used to make Chicken Divan. Is this really ok for phase one? My husband requested I make it once a month while we go through this diet! :) I really love this blog.

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  11. Rachel, you're welcome!

    MCH, as I said in the recipe, I'd consider this a "once in a while treat" because it's a little high in fat for South Beach, but I think it's okay for once a month for sure!

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  12. Oh this is soooooo good.... I have been making this once a week for almost a year now, and my family REALLY likes it! I make it when people come over and they love it. Thanks for sharing this. The ingredients for this recipe have become a staple on our weekly grocery list :)

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  13. So glad you like it so much. (And such an old photo, really need to take a new one!)

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  14. I will try this week, reminds me of an old chicken divan recipe i loved and lost that used broccoli. Love asparagas just as much, Thanks, Joan

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