5-2 Diet Chicken – Fast Day Chicken Casserole for a Cold Winter Night
Do you have family recipes that you’ve made in one variation or another for years? My 5-2 diet chicken casserole is something based on a recipe that my mother made using her own chicken portions. She made much the same dish with late season pheasant which we acquired from one or two of my Dad’s patients and prepared the portions with huge and rather scary poultry scissors. I don’t remember ever seeing chicken breast or other pre-prepared chicken portions in the fridge. And the chicken came from the local butcher, free range before there was ever any category of chicken that wasn’t free range. Perhaps because of that, the meal we ate was relatively higher in fat and calories and even now, if I have time and space in the freezer, I much prefer using a whole chicken. That way you get real stock with that nice gelatinous richness that is missing from a stock cube or bouillon. Rather than celeriac she sometimes put in a little celery in the dish and there were always a lot of potatoes and carrots. Of course if you had some, you could always use fresh stock, but I haven’t yet worked out the calories in my own home made fresh chicken stock, and in any case there was none in the fridge. So, this 5-2 diet chicken recipe uses a little bouillon dissolved in water.
My much simplified version is, if you like, the ready meal equivalent of what we were fed. I keep chicken breast portions in the freezer simply because they can be defrosted quickly and made into all sorts of dishes, depending on mood/company and content of the rest of the fridge. When I made this particular casserole for myself I was on a 5-2 diet fast day and wanted something warming and substantial that would still be less than 350 calories a portion. And, I was just a little fed up of curries and stir fry dishes. Even though I generally really enjoy them.
This is a very fast casserole recipe , about half an hour from start to finish to cook. And, by using celeriac rather than potato and a skinless chicken breast, the calorie count stays remarkable low – under 300 calories per portion. You really won’t need any other vegetables to serve with this dish. If you prefer to use potato, then just add 40 calories – and you’ll still have a healthy recipe suitable for a 5-2 diet fast day. By all means vary the vegetables to your own taste and to the content of your fridge.
The wine is optional and does of course also add calories. It does add depth of flavour though and I would suggest whether or not you add it will depend on how good your stock is.