Chunks of chicken breast sautéed with sweet peas and chives in creamy sauce. Ready in 18 easy minutes and kid friendly!
On Sunday when I was putting together this week’s healthy weeknight menu I mentioned that after combing through my archives, I was inspired to share more fast weeknight meals with you. I know we all could use more of those.
Usually around here, we are rolling in the door at 5 or so. All three Webster girls getting hangrier by the minute, I with an armload of mail to sort and CSA veggies to unpack and they with lunchboxes to unpack and home to school folders to unload. Then there is the spelling homework and bath time for the girls and I have to rattle off a few emails. The puppy is eating what out of my laundry basket? I wonder why dinner is a struggle. On the evenings when there aren’t after-school activities and I am working from home for the afternoon, being the purse filler that I am when it comes to my time, I work right up until 5:45, and then I am still scrambling to get dinner made presto fast. #hopeless
I am not sure what your dinner time prep situation looks like, but it is probably not any less hectic. So any recipe with minimal ingredients and a half hour of commitment is probably the way it has to happen for you too. Even better when it only takes 20 minutes. Even betterer when it is ready in 18 minutes. Triple the betters when it is healthy but seems like comfort food.
Well hello there Creamy Chicken and Peas. You just made my evening a lot less stressful. Hope you all like it too.
I know some of you have asked questions about food safety when it comes to cooking with chicken. I happen to love talking about this kind of thing, and answering your questions directly. But since this recipe has chicken breast in it, I thought this would be a good time to address two of the most common questions.
One is about cleaning up after yourself, and the best way to do that. This is tres important since when you are dealing with chicken you pretty much have to assume that it is contaminated with listeria or salmonella when you cook with it. It is really important that you don’t cross contaminate your other ingredients, kitchen or cooking utensils when you are preparing it.
I like to prep all my ingredients first then take care of the raw poultry or meat last before I start cooking. So in the case of this recipe, I cut my chives on the clean cutting board and then set them aside in a ramekin before I pulled out the chicken. When I am through with my knife and cutting board I wash it very well with hot soapy water and then I spray my cutting board and sink with a mild bleach solution to sanitize it. I also microwave my sponge soaked in water for 90 seconds when I am finished with it. (A lot of time I use chicken clean up as an opportunity to replace my sponge with a fresh one.) I also clean and dry my counter-top really well when I am done in case there was any grody pathogen containing meat juice spray. Ew! I have a stainless counter and sink so I use mild bleach solution and paper towels to do this after I work with raw meat or poultry. If you have natural stone or can’t use bleach on the type of counter you have, use a safe cleaner of your choice and then keep in mind that a dry surface is a lot safer than a moist surface. Pathogens love a little water to cruise around on. So once you clean your counter, dry it too!
The second question I get occasionally is about mixing raw chicken with other ingredients when cooking. Especially for a stir-fry or a recipe like this one with the peas mixed into the sauce. People ask if they should cook the chicken separately and then mix everything at the end. This gets a little grayer so I want to explain this clearly.
When you cook with chicken it is okay to mix it with other ingredients before it reaches 165. BUT if you do mix it with other ingredients, you have to assume that it or the exuding of its uncooked juice contaminates anything it comes into contact with. So then the chicken and the ingredients it is mixed with need to get to 165 to become safe. So it is fine to mix the peas into this before the chicken is cooked through, but you must be sure to that once they are added that you keep cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the peas are at the 165 degrees mark. For this recipe that happens at 2 to 3 minutes after it comes to a simmer. Remember that simmering sauce is over 200 degrees, but it takes a few minutes for the 200 degree sauce to fully permeate the entirety of the frozen peas and the chicken.
One more cooks note for you before you run away in fear of chicken for the rest of your lives. The flour is the sauce thickener here. Avoiding lumps is really easy. All you need to know is that to avoid lumps of flour in the sauce, make sure you stir when you add the broth. The starches in the flour gelatinize at about the temperature of boiling, so if they are stirred in and dissolved before it boils you’ll be in the clear!
Okay now on to the yummyness!
Very easy and fast chicken dinner with sweet peas and creamy chive sauce.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups frozen sweet peas
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring once or twice until browned, 4 to 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over the chicken and stir to coat. Add broth, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer while stirring. Stir in peas and return to a simmer, stirring often. Cook until the peas are heated through, the chicken is cooked through, and the sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes after returning to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream and chives. Serve hot with fresh pepper on top.
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