Mushroom Chicken & Rice
A recipe from the Sneaky Kitchen
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup dry white cooking wine
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
2 medium carrots
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced or 1 can mushroom stems & pieces, drained
cooking spray
1 can (14 to 16 oz.) OR 2 cups chicken broth
1 3/4 cups white long-grain rice
1 can lower-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup frozen peas 

Cut each chicken breast half into 4 pieces. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with spices & salt. Mix well to distribute seasonings. Put each piece on a cutting board & whack a few times with a meat tenderizing hammer. (This thins it & forces some of the seasonings into the chicken.) Scrape anything left on the cutting board into the bowl of chicken.

Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Place the chicken pieces into pan in a single layer (if pan is too small, repeat with 2nd batch). Sauté until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from pan & place back into the large bowl temporarily.

Pour cooking wine into pan & bring to a boil. Add chopped onion, celery & green pepper. Wash and/or scrape carrots & slice on the diagonal. Add to skillet. Stir frequently until wine boils away. Add mushrooms; if using fresh ones, spray with cooking spray. Sauté, turning gently, for another minute. Add rice. Continue to sauté, scraping bottom of pan, for another minute or two. Do not allow bottom of pan to scorch. 

Add broth & enough water to make 4 cups liquid. Bring to a boil. Add chicken & any liquid that has drained into bowl. Cover tightly & turn to very low heat. Cook 20 min. turning & scraping up bottom every 5 to 8 min.  If mixture dries down & starts to stick before the rice is tender, add a little more water.

While rice is cooking, place frozen peas & 1/2 cup of water in microwave-proof dish. Zap for 8 min. When rice is tender, add mushroom soup (undiluted) & mix well. Drain peas & scatter over the top of dish. Serve piping hot.