Saturday, January 21, 2023

Cooking Time: Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Noodles

Chrissy Teigen, the wife of singer John Legend, is someone that I have been following on Twitter for a while now. I’m not sure which came first: following her on Twitter or reading her then-blog, which was focused on food and called Cravings. After a while, that whole concept blew up and Cravings not only became a website for her, but also a personal brand. She has since launched two cookbooks and a line of cookware. If I’m not mistaken, she also has baking items out in the market too.

I’m in a bit of a cooking mood lately, trying out recipes from books and online and I decided that it was time to try out another Chrissy Teigen recipe. I’ve tried a couple of recipes from her Cravings cookbooks in the past, so this time around I thought I’d try one from her website. As with other recipes I’ve tried, I had to adjust the ingredient instructions to increase the number of people I can serve the dish to, plus there are ingredients that were not readily available at the time of cooking so I had to make do with what I had.  The recipe that I tried and that I’m sharing on this post is her Creamy Garlic Chicken and Mushroom Noodles. 

At first, I thought I was making a pasta dish, but as it turns out this one calls for egg noodles, so this is something new for me to cook and eat. I don’t think I've tried egg noodles with cream before so I was both excited and nervous to try making this dish. 

Ingredients (Cooking for 8 instead of 4 so these portions have been adjusted)

  • 8 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into cubes or stripes (Bought thighs with bone because boneless wasn’t available) 
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon 
  • 1 ½  pound assorted mushrooms (button, shiitake, cremini), cut into chunks (I used canned mushrooms, still assorted)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (I used regular sea salt)
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (used a stick of butter)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 thyme sprigs (no fresh thyme was available so I used the dried thyme)
  • 2 cups heavy cream (I used 2 packs of Nestle All-Purpose Cream)
  • zest of 1 lemon (no lemon available so I skipped this)
  • 4  tablespoons finely sliced chives/parsley (skipped this one too because it wasn’t available)
  • 6 oz egg noodles (used ½ kg of egg noodles)

The first thing I did was get help from my sister with the chicken thighs. We couldn’t buy them boneless at the supermarket so I had to ask her to debone them for me and cut them into strips. I didn’t want to ruin the dish because of my lack of deboning skills so I had to get her help to start. Once the chicken was ready, I seasoned it with the bouillon cube and salt and then cooked it in a pan with vegetable oil. Setting the chicken aside, I cooked the mushrooms in the same pan I used for the chicken with the melted butter, adding salt and pepper for flavor. 

As someone who can cook (but rarely does), I get confused sometimes with the instructions in the recipes. Like for this part in the Cravings recipe, it said:

While the mushrooms cook, get a pot of water boiling. Once water is at a boil, cook the noodles according to box instructions. Add the minced garlic and thyme sprigs and stir for another minute. Stir in the cream and add the cooked chicken back in. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes over lower heat till the sauce thickens.

My initial understanding was that I would add the minced garlic and thyme in the same water where I cooked the noodles and that I would add the cream there with the cooked chicken. But that didn’t make sense to me. I thought that would make the whole thing watery. I asked my sister and she suggested that I cook the noodles separately while I added the garlic and thyme to the mushrooms, along with the cream and chicken. Once the sauce is thickened, add it to the cooked noodles. I assumed that was the right thing to do since my sister is the one who cooks daily and lucky for me,  she was right and everything turned out great in the end.

The family was surprised that it turned out good since none of us have ever tried egg noodles with a cream sauce before. I was the one who wanted to try it but I was surprised with how it turned out too. I may not cook all the time, but when I do, I have been lucky enough to come up with good things like this. Funny thing is, the website said that this was easy to cook but for someone like me who can be a bit obsessive about following the instructions and making sure I was doing everything right this was a bit stressful! 

I think I need a bit more practice in the kitchen to get my confidence back in cooking. It’s been a while and maybe it’s time for me to get some cooking mojo back!


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