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The countdown is on. Three weeks to go, and so far my major achievements have been:

  • Putting on weight
  • Forgetting to do stuff
  • Managing not to commit relative-cide
  • Buying too much cheese but of the wrong type
  • Not eloping
  • Managing to order the Other Half’s wedding present from a company which put a picture of it on the outside of the box.

It’s the last one which has tipped me over the edge. I mean, how flipping stupid can you get? I can’t tell you what it is but I will when I can, and then you will look back and think FOOLS. At the company, not me. I hope.

I’m not sure he’s noticed. He may not have done, he’s got Man Flu, the vicious kind which requires a bottle of red wine and a nice supper in front of the telebox. Possibly the application of some kind of American crime drama, preferably a previously viewed episode which will require minimal concentration.

So tonight, my friends, I will prepare possibly the comfiest comfort food ever: Soupy Chicken. Easy to make, delicious to smell, and tempting to the most sniffly palate.  I almost – but not quite – guarantee instant recovery from all sorts of ailments with this one.

And if anyone can tell me where I can buy 1.5kg of Wells Alpine Cheese online, I’d be ever so grateful.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (do buy the best you can afford, it makes such a difference and makes me happy)
  • 1 tin condensed chicken or mushroom soup
  • The equivalent of said soup tin in milk
  • 1 onion
  • A couple of handfuls of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 darn good shaking of mixed herbs
  • A splash of olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 180°. Have your casserole or oven proof dish ready on the side.

Finely chop onion, then sauté in the olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and herbs (I like to use about 1 tablespoon, use more than you think) and give it another 5 or so minutes on the heat, so the scent of the herbs just starts to come out and the edges of the mushroom have softened.  Before the mushrooms start to brown, take the pan off the heat and scrape the mushrooms, onions and herbs into the casserole dish.

Return the pan to the heat and add your chicken breasts. They’ll take about 5-7 minutes to brown, don’t worry, you’re not aiming to cook them right through at this stage. If you have fat happy chicken breasts (now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write) then you may wish to help them on their way by flattening them out a little to start them cooking from that angle. Just flip and squish with a spatula.

When the meat is brown, place on the top of the onions and mushroom mix.  Twist a bit of black pepper on the top.

Return the pan to the heat, turning it down a smidgen, and pour in your soup. Then, and this is the crucial bit, fill the soup can up with milk. Use a spatula to swoosh the leftover soup into the milk, before adding the milk in the tin to the soup in the pan. It will go kind of funny and not want to mix into the soup, but keep stirring and gradually it will assimilate until you have a simmering sauce.

Pour over the chicken, mushrooms and onions, stir around, add a bit more milk if you think it needs it / splash of cream if you have it / seasoning or anything else you fancy.

Pop in the oven for about 45-50 minutes til bubbly and smelling divine.  Check the chicken is cooked through before serving please, and if it’s not quite there then cover the dish with foil and return it to the oven for 15 minutes before checking again.

Serve with mashed potatoes and peas for full invalid rescue attempt.

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