CREAMY CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS AND PEPPERS
1 can (14 1/2 oz) fat-free seasoned chicken broth, divided
1 cup white instant rice
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, fresh or frozen
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion (or 3/4 cup chopped)
1 package (8 oz) already sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup dry sherry (NOT cooking sherry)
1 large yellow or red bell pepper
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup half and half
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
salt to taste
Bring 1 cup of the chicken broth and the water to a boil over high heat, covered, in a 2-quart saucepan. Set aside the remaining broth. Add the rice, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and cook 17 minutes.
While rice cooks, if the chicken is frozen, run it under hot water so you can remove any packaging. Place the breast halves on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 2 minutes, uncovered, on high, to begin defrosting.
While chicken defrosts, heat the oil in a 12-inch, extra-deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the pan as you chop. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir from time to time.
Cut the chicken into bite-size cubes. Add the chicken and the sherry to the pan. Rinse and seed the bell pepper. Cut it into bite-size pieces and add them to the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high.
While the chicken cooks, add the basil, onion powder, mustard, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, just until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes.
In a small jar that has a lid, combine the flour with 1/4 cup of the chicken broth. Set aside the remaining broth. Shake well to remove any lumps and set aside.
When the chicken has cooked, add the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth and the half-and-half to the pan. ?Reduce the heat to medium and stir well. Shake the flour-broth mixture again and add it to the pan. Stir well to combine and continue to stir until the mixture thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Season with salt to taste. Serve at once over hot rice.