Friday, 15 May 2015

5:2 Diet Creamy Saffron and Paprika Chicken with Vegetables

This is a quick and simple dinner that can be on the table in less than half an hour and for a 5:2 fast day dinner it's a winner. 

Admittedly it means scrimping on food for most of the rest of the day, but I tend to find it easier to have one big meal and then just graze on salad 

Chicken in cream with mushrooms is not unusual, but with the addition of saffron, paprika and sherry plus a host or peppers, chilli and spinach - this makes for a delicious dish with a slightly Spanish influence. 

The below makes enough for two people and it comes in at 421 calories per portion. Serve it simply in a bowl if you are dieting and it still makes for a filling and satisfying meal. If you're hungrier, serve with some crusty bread or some basmati rice. The chicken dish

1 large leek
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
100g mushrooms
2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp sherry
100g creme fraiche
100g spinach leaves

Firstly pour in the olive oil into a pan or a wok and place on a medium heat. 

Slice the leek and chilli and crush the garlic and add to the pan to slowly soften and flavour the oil. 

Chop the peppers and add to the pan. Slice the mushrooms and once the peppers have started to soften, add to the pan for 2-3 minutes, turning with a wooden spoon or spatula to ensure they get the flavour from the oil all over.

Sprinkle in the paprika and stir to distribute. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl for the minute.

Chop the chicken into small, bite sized chunks as evenly as possible and add these to the now empty pan. If it sticks you may need to drizzle in a little extra olive oil. Allow to sear on all sides, again moving around with a wooden utensil and once all sides are whitened, pour over the sherry. This will bubble up quite quickly so reduce the heat and allow to slowly evaporate and in the meantime return the vegetables to the pan.

After a few moments you should be left with a sticky looking slightly browned gravy substance. At this point add the creme fraiche and stir through generously.

Steep a pinch of saffron, only a little is needed, in a tablespoon of boiling water in a small bowl or cup, and then add to the pan and again stir through. Season generously too at this point.

After another five minutes of cooking, add the spinach to the pan - simply place on top of everything else, it will cook from the heat in a couple of minutes and then stir through and remove from the heat and you are ready to dish up.

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