A satisfying meal with moderate calorie content and excellent nutritional variety.
This is an easy and comforting dish for one that is easily prepared from ingredients on your shelf, and can be a good emergency meal. The mashed potatoes can be made from fresh potatoes, and I'll assume that you can do this. They can also come from potato flakes kept on the shelf for emergencies. The flakes are not as good, but if prepared with care are satisfactory.
The gravy can be from a packet, or from canned gravy. Either way, about a cup will be needed. The chicken can be a 5-oz can of "chunk chicken," which works well here, with the small pieces. Drain the can, and use the liquid, topped up with water, in making the gravy from powder. When the gravy is ready, according to the directions on the packet, add the chicken and mix. Serve the mashed potatoes, make a depression in the top, and pour over the chicken in gravy.
The canned chicken contains an interesting lesson. The can is labelled "5 oz net weight," or the equivalent in metric. When I had drained the can, the can plus chicken weighed 3.55 oz. The can weighed 1.00 oz alone. The content of chicken, then, was only 2.55 oz. You pay for all the liquid in the can, and extra liquid is a good way to increase profits. The chicken, after the water was separated, was half the volume of the can. Such is business!
Anyway, 2.55 oz of chicken is enough protein for any meal. Serve the chicken and potatoes with a vegetable or salad, or both, and accompany it with cranberry sauce if you like. If you have canned vegetables and salad ready for emergencies, this meal is always available. The chicken and potatoes supply about 630 Cal. on their own (including a tablespoon of butter in the potatoes), which is quite reasonable. The whole meal should be about 800 Cal., which is not excessive for a main meal, especially one as satisfying as this that combines carbohydrate, protein and fat in good proportions for nutrition.
Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 13 December 2002