Tag Archives: Creamy

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

I ran across this recipe on another blog and when I was cooking according to her directions, I found myself immediately deviating from her directions. This actually turned out as a great creamy, herby pasta dish that comes together in about 20-30 minutes. So if want a departure from your typical pasta dish but not skimp on flavor this one might be a good fit.

I still have a case of the blog blahs and in perfect form, I thought I took pictures last night but didn’t have my card in my camera…doh. So picture if you will, a creamy pasta dish resembling a looser alfredo sauce but packed with herbs, spinach and grape tomatoes. Additionally, some sliced pieces of bite sized chicken that replaced a meatball.

The recipe that I followed used evaporated milk which I did do but wouldn’t do it again. Instead, I would use whole milk, cream or even a dollop of cream cheese or something. Also, she suggested covering your chicken with pesto prior to cooking. I found that it started to burn the pesto. So much so, that when I removed my chicken I had to deglaze the pan with water and start from scratch missing out of on those lovely chicken bits and juices. I also amped up the parmesan cheese to compensate for the evaporate milk.

Last note, I have been falling in love with my grocery store salad bar. Instead of buying vegetables that I wouldn’t always use, I load up on the vegetables I want to cook that night. I added spinach, grape tomatoes, sliced red onion and a few mushrooms.

My recipe should deliver a super fast but delicious meal.

Ingredients:
Free Range Chicken Breasts
Fresh Basil
Fresh Pesto (store bought)
a handful of fresh spinach
a handful sliced grape tomatoes
small amount of sliced red onion from salad bar.
4 cloves of garlic
Cooked spaghetti (al dente)
1 cup whole milk or cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbs of grated parmesan cheese (use more or less to your taste)
1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Needed: Two pots: one for the sauce and chicken and one for boiling the pasta.
1. Start boiling the water for your pasta.
2. Lightly salt and pepper your chicken breasts. I tenderized them with a mallet to flatten them out to an even thickness. I heated a pan with olive oil on medium heat. The idea is to put a little color on them. Cook three to four minutes each side and remove them to rest.
2. Make a roux by adding the butter and flour in the same pot of the removed chicken. When it turns light brown, go ahead and add your minced garlic, red onion, and halved grape tomatoes and stir for one minute.
3. Add the chicken stock and loosen everything up. Turn down the heat to low and then add the pesto, the cream/milk and parm. Stir until the sauce thickens.
4. Cook your pasta according to the package in salted water. While it cooks cut the chicken breast on the bias and then add the sliced chicken back into the sauce and continue to stir.
5. When your pasta is cooked al dente, remove it, drain it and add the pasta into the sauce pot. Now add in your spinach and basil until nicely wilted but not over cooked. Serve and top with some fresh shaved parm and torn basil.

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce
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I wasn’t sure what to call this dish but when I spotted the Trader Joe’s pesto tortellini I knew Jill would love it A creamy Parmesan sauce was a perfect complement. Adding the chicken made it a more substantial mean but certainly not necessary. Also when I make a creamy sauce for my pasta I love adding peas because they add a pop of sweetness and freshness.

Given I used packaged tortellini this is one of those restaurant quality meals that you can whip up in a flash. I used two chicken breasts but looking back I would just go with one because we couldn’t eat it all. For the sauce, I will try to remember how much I used of each ingredient but the more important thing for you to do is consider your tastes. Do you like a lot or light amounts of sauces? Do you like it thick or more loose. More cheesy or even use another cheese like Gruyere, swiss, maybe even blue cheese. hmmmm?

Ingredients for 2:
1 Package of Trader Joe’s Pesto Tortellini
1 tbs of flour
1 tbs of butter
1 cup of milk or cream
Parmesan Cheese
Peas
Chicken breast

Directions:
1. Let’s make some chicken. Season both sides with Kosher salt and Pepper. Put a little bit of oil in a medium heated cast iron skillet and cook it until done and make sure you get some nice browning. Remove your chicken and set it aside. IMG_0703

2. Turn the heat down medium low and splash in a little chicken stock or water (pasta water if you decided to cook your tortellini first, to deglaze the pan. Now add your butter and flour to get a rue going. Given the chicken bits are in your rue it will look darker but stir until you get a nice paste. Slowly pour in the milk stirring continuously. I let it thicken up a little bit and then added about a cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Again once you get your rue, you can make more or less sauce by adding only the milk/cream amount you like. If it gets too thick, add some stock, pasta water or even milk. Add your peas and your cut chicken breasts. Stir
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3. Cook your Tortellini until al dente. I chose to pour my sauce mixture over the top versus incorporating them into the sauce with everything else. The reason is that I have had some ravioli or tortellini bust open on me during the stir. I just stirred it while in my bowl.
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Spinach Mushroom Creamy Chicken Casserole

Spinach Mushroom Creamy Chicken Casserole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Spinach Mushroom Creamy Chicken Casserole
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Lately I have been playing around with chicken recipes. If you have followed the last few weeks, I made shish tawook, chicken and rice and then that “yum” chicken recipe. So I had some left over rice pilaf from my shish tawook and also some extra chicken. I thought I would add some veggies and landed on spinach, mushroom and caramelized onions.

The chicken stays moist due to the sauce which is a creamy Parmesan cheese bechamel. The veggies add an earthiness on top of the savory sauce and finally the balsamic caramelized onions introduce a pop of sweetness. I added a touch of Slap ya Mama seasoning to my flour for a touch of heat.

Ingredients:
4 organic free range chicken breasts (sliced into larger than bite sized pieces)
2 onions (diced)
1 package of mushrooms (sliced)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 bags of baby spinach (8 cups uncooked)
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup seasoned flour (w/Slap Ya Mama)
1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil
Kosher salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. I started by cooking my chicken. I trimmed the breasts and then cut them in to cutlet size. I dusted with some seasoned flour and then in a medium heated skillet I put a little crust on them. Once browned set them aside. I had some rice pilaf so put it into a baking dish and placed the chicken on top. IMG_9782

2. Start the veggies by dicing the onions and adding them to a medium heated pan with a some oil. Cook for about 10 minutes until they are browning and then add your tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Into the pan goes the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Now add your spinach. It looks like a lot but will wilt dramatically. Turn it on low heat. IMG_9788

3. In a smaller sauce pan add a small amount of flour and butter to make a small blond roux. Add the milk, cream and Parmesan cheese with a little pepper. See below (not a great picture) IMG_9786

4. Now add half the sauce to the cooked veggies and coat them well. The remaining sauce pour over the chicken and rice pilaf. Then add your saucy veggies. Top with a little more parm and put into a 375 degree oven. Everything is cooked so you are just going to let it all meld together and for the cheese to brown.
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Asiago Mushroom Chicken Pasta

Asiago Mushroom Chicken Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asiago Mushroom Chicken Pasta
I had some leftover mushrooms, cream and fresh thyme from Thanksgiving so I was looking for something to make that would allow me to incorporate it all and avoid wasting it. Today a cold front blew in so I was thinking comfort food Monday. The Midnight Baker had a recipe that fit the bill.

For mine, I chose to make a pasta dish so I added egg noodles because Jill likes pasta more than she likes chicken. She is funny with chicken. Always poking, pulling, studying it to avoid the “bad bite” For this reason I always trim my chicken really well and often go ahead and cut it up into pieces to make sure I remove anything white. You know that tendon thing that runs right into the large part of the breast?

This was a great dish that I can see making it into my “go to” rotation. Super easy but tastes complicated. The mushrooms and thyme bring a earthiness. The wine brings a little acid along with some sophistication. Then the Asiago and cream make it decadent and creamy. Oh and there is chicken and pasta in it.

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Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
1lbs sliced baby portabella mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup shredded Asiago cheese
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt

Egg noodles (optional) or Rice
Parmesan or Asiago cheese for sprinkling
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Directions:
1. Trim your chicken and pound it between wax paper so that the chicken is the same thickness. Cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Dust your cut chicken in the seasoned flour and brown in a medium heated skillet with olive oil and butter. Once browned remove from heat.

3. Cook your shallots, mushrooms and garlic until soft. Your pan will be dry so de-glaze it with the white wine. Also add your stock and thyme and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 10mins.

4. Turn your heat to low and add your cream and cheese until it is melted. Nestle your chicken back into the sauce/gravy and let it meld and warm. I added cooked egg noodles to the mixture and let it fully coat everything. You can also serve over rice, pasta, potatoes or simply as is. Top with Parmesan and a few thyme leaves.
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Chicken Salad Avocado Sandwhich on Sourdough

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When I am not traveling, I will often pick up a roasted chicken and use if for lunch and some of the bits for the dog’s food. Made a chicken salad by putting a little Dukes Mayo, green onions, Tabasco in bowl and mixed it up well. Topped with sliced cheddar and avocado on Sourdough and served with spicy hot chili chips.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Summer Vegetables

Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Summer Vegetables

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Summer Vegetables

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I love green curry coconut milk recipes. It was love at first taste similar to Tikka Masala. The smoothness paired with the heat and flavor of the green curry are magical in this guys opinion.

The lady who cuts my hair is Thai. Her mom owned a restaurant which now her sister runs. I was talking to her the other day and we got to talking about her mom, cooking, meals etc.. When I asked her what was her Mom’s “go to” dish that you love the most? “Green curry” replied. So naturally it made me put it on the menu for this week.

As we close out summer and enjoy the season’s vegetables, I decide to incorporate some of them into this curry.

Ingredients:
1 jar of Green Curry Paste (used store bought)
1 lbs Chicken Thighs and Breasts (chopped into bite sized pieces)
Red Bell Pepper
Zucchini diced
4 ounces of shitake mushrooms
2 ears of corn (cooked and kernels removed)
Fresh Basil and Lemon Verbena
2 cans of Coconut milk (add more if you need more liquid or water)
Dash of Fish Sauce
1tbs Sriracha
Juice of a lime
Brown or Jasmine rice

Directions:
Stir in 2 tbs of Green Curry Paste in a medium heated pot to heat it up. Then add coconut milk, stir and combine. Add chicken pieces and cook for about 15mins. Then add red peppers, fish sauce and Sriracha and stir for about 15 mins. Taste and add more green curry paste if you need it. Then add the rest of the veggies and based upon how firm you like it them stir and for another 5-15mins. Turn off heat and stir in basil and verbena and let it cool to serve over rice.
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King Ranch Casserole featuring Hatch Chilies

King Ranch Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium due to number of steps
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King Ranch Casserole featuring Hatch Chiles
King Ranch Casserole
King Ranch Casserole

Texans are quite familiar with the King Ranch Casserole. It’s basically our version of lasagna (instead of pasta we use corn tortillas, instead of mascarpone we use sour cream mushroom sauce, instead tomatoes we use Rotel with green chilies, instead of mozzarella we use cheddar/Monterrey jack.) I mentioned earlier Louis Lambert’s cookbook “Big Ranch, Big City” and I also highlighted that it is Hatch Chili season. I adapted this recipe from his version of “Creamy Chicken Casserole with Hatch Chiles”. Froze half for use in the fall.

This recipe takes no short cuts so you poach your chicken; create scratch broth and mushroom sour cream sauce. The payoff is worth it because the flavors are amazing combining earthiness from the cumin, roasted hatch chilies and jalapenos, the creaminess from the cheeses and sour cream mushroom sauce, the heat from the cayenne, chilies, jalapenos, Tabasco, and the heartiness from the chicken. Comfort dish for the fall , winter and for company.

King Ranch Casserole
King Ranch Casserole

Ingredients:
Poached Chicken
3 chicken breasts
3 thighs
1 yellow onion (diced)
2 stalks of celery (diced)
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tps dried oregano
1 bay leaf
5 shakes of Tabasco
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups of water
Casserole
2 tbs olive oil
2 cups of diced mushrooms
¼ cup All Purpose Flour
1 can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and chilies)
1 cup of Sour Cream
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne
8 scrapes of fresh nutmeg
8 Roasted Hatch Chiles (skinned, seeded and diced)
2 diced and seeded jalapenos
1 cup of cilantro (we use more than most might)
2 cups of cheddar cheese (freshly shredded – no packaged stuff)
1 cup of Monterrey jack cheese (freshly shredded – no packaged stuff)
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

Directions: Poach your chicken by adding everything in a large pot and bring it to a boil. I tried Lambert’s technique of cooking for 5mins, then covering it for 1min and then turn off the heat and let it cook through for about an hour. I have never tried it this way. Let it cool and then pull your chicken out and cube it up or pull it into chunks. Strain the liquid and save the veggies and 2.5 cups of liquid. Save the rest for future use.

Preheat 350. Now make the sour cream mushroom sauce by putting a skillet on high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 4mins. Add your butter and let it melt then your flour until it is paste / rue like. Now add the chicken stock you set aside and the vegetables you removed from the strainer. You will reduce this while stirring for a 10mins. Now add your Rotel, sour cream, Hatch chiles and Cilantro and let it cook for a few minutes to incorporate fully. Remove from heat and set aside.
Assemble: you should have three bowls with chicken, the sauce and your shredded cheese. Hit your tortillas on a skillet for a minute to soften them. Take a 9×13 greased plan you will make three layers. Tortillas, 1/3 of mixture, then cheese… repeat twice more and bake it covered for 15mins and then 30mins uncovered to brown the cheese.

King Ranch Casserole Lambert style
King Ranch Casserole Lambert style