Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chicken and Asparagus in a Cream Wine Sauce

Our shelves are still empty. We are notoriously bad at visiting the grocery store on a properly regular basis. This means that, on a Wednesday night like last night, the Husband is likely to call for pad thai and we'll wait an hour and a half past our fainting point for any food or I'll dig into the pantry and the freezer, and find whatever is left in the corner of the crisper to whip something delicious up.

Either way, we're unlikely to get any food until at least an hour and a half past our fainting points.

In my freezer, I found a bag of chicken legs.

From the crisper, I dug out the remaining stalks of asparagus and the last of a bag of spinach.

I just assumed there was milk. Or at least cream.

I got started.

As I mixed together the biscuit topping, I realized that my assumption was completely wrong. No milk. Not even in the dark back corner of the fridge. I made a sad face at my mix of flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary and set the bowl aside.

No biscuits for the topping, I told the Husband.

Then, I turned to the sauce.

Wait a minute.

I had planned a cream sauce. Cream sauce required cream. Or, at the very least, milk.

I looked in the fridge again, just to be sure.

And then, brilliance struck! To the pantry I sent the Husband. Grab me a can of cream of mushroom soup, I said. That's cream! And here! On the top shelf of the fridge, the last of the sour cream onion dip. Sure, there's a broken crumb of a chip there on the one side... but I can scoop around that.

(Please don't judge.)

Half an hour later, after all the switches in my plan, after all the work-arounds, I had this.

Chicken and Asparagus in a Cream Wine Sauce

4 chicken legs (drumstick and thighs)
Approx. 12-15 asparagus stalks

For the sauce

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp rosemary
A couple handfuls of spinach

For the biscuit topping

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut in
1/2 cup sour cream and 1 tsp salt OR 1/2 cup sour cream based dip

Preheat your oven to 400*.

Cook your chicken using your favourite method. Since mine were all bony, I boiled, but if I had a breast or boneless thighs, I would probably have fried in order to keep as much of the flavour in as possible. If you boil, reserve the broth! There's all sorts of goodness in there.

While your chicken is cooking, make your sauce. Mix together the soup, the wine and the broth. As it begins to bubble, toss in the cheese, the rosemary and the spinach. Stir frequently and cook until the cheese is all melted and the spinach has wilted beautifully. Throw in your chicken to mix it all up.

Mix up your biscuit topping. Mix together the dry ingredients (the flour, the baking powder, the rosemary and the salt if you're using straight sour cream). Cut in the butter or margarine and mix together using a pastry cutter or, if you're like me and don't have one, a fork or even your hands until the butter is down to pea sized. Add in the sour cream or sour cream dip and mix well. It will be a crumbly looking biscuit batter, but trust me - it works.

In a casserole dish spoon enough of your sauce to cover the bottom. Layer the asparagus on top. (If you wish to cut your asparagus before doing so, it will make serving much easier.) Spoon the rest of the sauce over the asparagus. Drop the biscuit mixture in rough scoops onto the casserole. Pop it into the oven for 25 minutes or until the biscuits have become a beautiful golden brown.


We'll be going grocery shopping very soon, I promise, but I must admit that sometimes it's a little fun having empty cupboards. It's a challenge, really, to find out what you can create with almost nothing.

Don't forget to drop by the House! It's Thursday over there which only means one thing!

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