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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Chicken dish makes good use of packaged pasta, veggies

Thursday, March 11, 1999

Cold days cry out for something warm and filling in the tummy, and today's Countdown to Dinner recipe certainly fills the bill as comfort food. Convenient comfort food. Not only does it utilize straight-from-the-shelf ingredients, but it cooks up in one pan for minimal cleanup.

Berniece Yuros of Forest Hills does the honors this week with Easy Chicken & Pasta, which she found in a magazine and clipped for her looseleaf notebooks crammed with 20 years' worth of recipes.

The mother of three grown daughters, Yuros is retired from her secretarial job in the office of vocational rehabilitation in the State Office Building Downtown. She and her husband, Joseph, volunteer at the senior center in Forest Hills, helping to pack meals for shut-ins and serve lunch at the center.

They enjoy family casserole fare, with an emphasis on chicken, turkey and fish.

Today's recipe is yummy and so easy: It came together in 23 minutes flat. We like the combination of poultry, vegetables and pasta using the new meal builder frozen foods that are appearing at the stores under different brand names. There are many different combinations of sauce and pasta, so you can experiment with the flavors that suit you best.

With a simple salad on the side, you have a satisfying, well-balanced meal. - Tested by Betsy Kline

Easy Chicken & Pasta

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up
1 (103/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup (we used fat-free)
1/2 cup water
1 (1-pound) bag frozen seasoned pas- ta and vegetable combination (we used Birds Eye White Cheddar Pasta Secrets with broccoli, corn and car- rots)

In medium skillet (we used a medium Dutch oven) over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often. Set chicken aside.

Add soup, water and vegetables. Heat to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Serves 4.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer(not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@Post-Gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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