chicken and mushrooms

Jeelvy’s Keto Cookbook | Part 4 – Chicken and Mushrooms

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A keto diet is inevitably meat heavy. Unless you want to actually starve, you’ll need a dense, high calorie source of food which isn’t bread or other carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the only other realistic option for that is meat. This is great, but over time your palate can become jaded and you’ll see chewing through meat every day as a chore. The trick is to try a different type of meat, mayhaps some feathered dinosaur. Enter the light and refreshing chicken and mushrooms.

The Ingredients

To make chicken and mushrooms, you’ll need the following:

  • 400-500 grams chicken breast
  • 200 grams white mushrooms
  • 20 grams dried boletus mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Butter
  • Oregano and salt
  • Optional: Sour cream and cheese

A note on amounts. The above quantities are such that I can easily devour all by myself. However, I’m a big guy with a voracious appetite. Nevertheless, you should know that this is a light meal and that the shrooms will shrink when fried. Due to the effort involved in preparing it, this is easily a principal meal of the day, so make sure you get enough.

The Preparation

chicken and mushrooms preparation

Start by crushing the garlic. Then chop the shrooms and chicken into tiny pieces, as small as possible to ensure that they’re cooked quickly and thoroughly. Place the dried boletus mushrooms in just enough water to cover them and let them soak for at least seven minutes. Heat the butter in a pan and once it melts or starts sizzling, add the garlic and then the mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms carefully and give them space. If they don’t have space, they won’t brown. As they fry, they’ll also release some water, which will help deglaze the pan later. The chicken goes in last, after you’re confident the shrooms are on their way to being cooked. Fry until the chicken’s all white and then add the boletus mushrooms and the water they were soaking in. Cook until most of the water is evaporated. In the last minute before taking the pan off the fire, add the salt and oregano and stir vigorously to distribute them throughout the dish. And that’s it. It’s done. Add sour cream, cheese or both to taste and to increase the calorie count.

Nutritional Profile

Chicken is technically meat, but I always thought of it as more of a vegetable. It is less calorie dense than the meat of mammals or even other birds, such as for example goose or duck. Incidentally, I’ve also made this dish with goose and duck breast and it makes for a much grander feast, whereas substituting turkey breast doesn’t substantially change the nutritional profile. The real star of the show here are the mushrooms, which are not only a great source of protein, but also provide that much needed fibre to get the bowels moving. The butter is essential for the fats, which are the primary source of calories on the keto diet, but still, this dish tends to be a little lean, so I always end up adding sour cream or cheese (or both).

Taste Profile

It’s chicken and mushrooms, it tastes like chicken and mushrooms. The primary taste will come from the boletus, garlic and oregano, even though the white mushrooms will provide that certain fresh and fungal back note that we know and love. The boletus-oregano combination gives a deep, rich taste experience which makes the otherwise bland chicken and white shrooms seem grand. A note on substitutions. The recipe will remain the same if you use turkey instead of chicken. If, however, you use duck or goose, be aware that these rich birds might start competing for the spotlight with the boletus. The goose in particular has a very rich taste which deserves its own spotlight. With duck, it depends on the individual duck.

So there you have it. A quick and easy to make light dish. Its fungal basis makes it an ideal winter dish and it’s a breath of fresh air in the meat, meat and always meat monotony of a keto diet. Make sure to try the other bird variants as well, but for my part, I always find myself returning to good old chicken. See you next time.

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