Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Now We're Cooking! - Creamy Chicken and Pasta

I've made it three times so far - and it hasn't let me down yet! Of course, my mom has helped by getting the chicken started (or boiling it for me...or buying an already-cooked chicken). But still, I'm making steps toward becoming more knowledgeable in the kitchen.

So do you want to know what's turned my household upside down? (OK, I'm being over-dramatic, but it is really good!)

From the Taste of Home Best of Simple & Delicious Cookbook, which a college friend and her sweet family gave to me for graduation, comes "Creamy Chicken and Pasta" (p. 15):

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked penne pasta

1 cup sliced green onions
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups cubed cooked chicken

Salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese

[The recipe in the book adds 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms to be sauteed with the green onions, 2 tbsp drained capers to be added with the chicken, and notes that white wine can be used instead of chicken broth. I'm not a mushroom fan, I don't really care about the capers, and I think chicken broth works well - so I omitted those things. The recipe also gives set amounts for the salt and pepper - 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper - but I've learned you kind of have to experiment with the seasonings. These are just my personal changes, but we all have different taste!]

Directions

"Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onions [or just the onions] in butter for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add wine or broth and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Combine the flour and water until smooth; gradually add to the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

Drain pasta. Add the past, chicken, capers [or not], salt and pepper to cream sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 5 servings."

That's it! Here are some notes to remember, though:
  • Unless you're fantastic at mincing - like Tiana in The Princess and the Frog - it might take a while to chop up all those green onions and cut up the chicken. So you can do those things ahead of time if it helps!
  • There are a lot of steps to making the sauce, but it doesn't take too long - you just have to be able to devote your attention to it.
  • Be sure to use a big skillet, because even though when you start out it seems like too much room, you'll be adding the pasta and chicken directly to the sauce.
  • You might end up with a lot of dishes... But I think it's worth it! My parents and grandparents seem to enjoy this dish, and it's kind of fun to make!

(Pictures are mine from my birthday dinner last Sunday - I just made the pasta; my mom did the rest! I doubled the recipe so there would be enough for my grandparents, parents, and me. And my grandma made a delicious birthday cake for me! The recipe is from the Taste of Home Best of Simple & Delicious Cookbook.)

6 comments:

Amanda Stanley said...

AMBER! Great job with the cooking, girl! Anything with cheese and heavy cream has to be yummy, lol! You'll be the Next Food Network Star in no time! ;-) Seriously though practice makes perfect. I LOVE to cook and bake - at 75% Italian it's required, lol! If you ever need any recipes or have any questions let me know and I would be happy to help in anyway I can!

From when I was little we always watched "Lidia's Italy" on PBS. Her son is Joe Bastianich - the miserable looking judge from MasterChef. Anyway, at the end of her program she'd always say, "Tutti a tavola a mangiare!" Meaning, "everyone to the table to eat." I don't know why I just told you that but it's a fun saying to learn when you call your family to the table! :-)

I'm so proud of you, my friend! As my Nana says every time I cook or bake something - "Your husband must be right around the corner! God's preparing you because men do love to eat." Very logical thinking wouldn't you say?? ;-)

Blessings,
Amanda

Julie said...

Mmmm, that looks so yummy! And good for you learning how to cook! I have a 20 year old daughter who has no interest in things of the kitchen. She can make Top Ramen and Mac & Cheese(Kraft). First learning to drive, now learning to cook! Way to branch out girl!!

Michelle said...

What a lovely birthday dinner, Amber! This looks delicious! I'm going to add it to our dinner line up very soon. Thank you for sharing the recipe. : )

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Aww, thank you! I appreciate your enthusiastic encouragement - and your willingness to help me out! :) It's great to know I'm not alone should I need some extra tips or options in the kitchen!

Love those stories/sayings you shared!! ;D That definitely sounds like a fun way to call you family for dinner...although I'd probably butcher the pronunciation, LOL! And I love what your Nana says! Sounds good to me! ;) It's just like Tiana says in The Princess and the Frog when John Goodman's character praises her beignets - "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." ;)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Julie,

I think it's pretty yummy, if I do say so myself! ;) Of course, I didn't come up with the recipe or anything...but it's fun to put together - and even more fun to eat! ;)

Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement! I have to say, though, that I still have a lot to learn - and I still haven't made any strides toward learning how to drive after getting my permit (again)... But hopefully soon I'll try to get behind that wheel again! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

Aww, that's awesome! Thank you so much for your sweet words - I really hope you like the recipe as much as I do!! :) Feel free to let me know if I need to clarify any of my notes or anything!

~Amber