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):
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!]
"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.)