Tag Archives: chicken

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes…err, Mushrooms

I was perusing Pinterest for a recipe to try, as I have been checking out Pinterest lately for recipes. There is such a variety of culinary adventures to undertake. I do feel guilty ignoring my collection of New Orleans cookbooks, however.

My husband and I don’t normally eat a lot of chicken, though we probably should opt for it rather than red meat or pork. When I saw the recipe for chicken with mozzarella and pasta, I thought that sounded like a tasty combination. Plus, cheese compliments so many dishes, in my opinion.

I want to thank the blog Julia’s Album for this delicious recipe.

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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I didn’t take a picture. This photo is credited to Julia and her blog, Julia’s Album.

Side note: I did make a couple of adjustments.

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small jar (3-4 oz) of sun dried tomatoes in oil (I used a bag of dried sun dried tomatoes)…Note: drain if using sun dried tomatoes in oil, and set aside oil for sauteeing
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders (The recipe implies keeping them whole, but I think I would chop them next time)
  • Salt and pepper (for seasoning chicken)
  • Paprika (for seasoning chicken)
  • 1 cup half and half (I used heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (I recommend shredding your own, because it tends to melt better than pre-shredded)
  • 8 ounces penne pasta (I think this recipe would go with cavatappi or rotini as well so all that creamy goodness can work its way through the pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon basil (if dry), or more if fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Note: If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil, use the drained oil to sauté the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes for 1 minute until fragrant….If you did not use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, just use regular olive oil to sauté.
  2. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from pan and set aside. Don’t be like me and turn away for a moment. I burned some of mine and had to toss some out. Those little things brown quickly, and you don’t want them brown. Lol!
  3. Season the chicken tenders with salt, pepper, and paprika. Add chicken tenders to the pan (or cut them into chunks and add). Cook on high for 1 minute on each side.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions and save some pasta water. Drain and rinse and set aside.
  5. Slice the sun-dried tomatoes and add them back to the skillet. I sliced them prior to initially sautéeing them, because slicing them after would have been more difficult with the oil on them.
  6. Add the half and half or whipping cream (whatever your preference), as well as the mozzarella cheese, to the skillet and bring to a gentle boil. Once the cream starts boiling, reduce to simmer and cook. Stir consistently to make sure the cheese completely melts. The recipe recommends adding some of the reserved pasta water to the sauce to keep the sauce from getting too thick. I did not do this.
  7. Add the basil and red pepper flakes. (I also added some grated parmesan cheese)
  8. Add salt to taste.
  9. Finally, add the pasta into the sauce and fold everything together.

Note: After burning half of my sun-dried tomatoes, I was glad that I had some chopped baby bella mushrooms on hand to add in. I think that this can also be done with fresh spinach as well.

Final word: The recipe was great but after initially cooking the chicken I would take it out to make the sauce and then add the chicken back in again. I found it difficult to stir the sauce while the chicken was in the pan.

 

 

Curtis Stone’s Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

Curtis Stone's Chicken and Leek PieLately, I have been getting out of “my box” in terms of cooking. Have you ever flipped through the pages of a cookbook and said to yourself: “I’ll make this” or “I’ll make that” but then never get around to it because it may be inconvenient, lengthy or new? Well, I have found myself in that situation many time but this time I decided to follow through.

I have seen Take Home Chef’s Curtis Stone make lots of recipes that are targeted at working couples and families who don’t usually have time to cook recipes that take several hours. I checked out his new book from the library: “Relaxed at Home” and flipped through the pages. There was a tasty looking recipe called Chicken and Leek Pie topped with flaky puff pastry dough. My mouth began to water knowing that I just may be able to make this pie myself.

Before I entered into the thought process that usually talks me out of cooking dinner I pulled out the rotisserie chicken I purchased and began shredding it for the pie. I don’t know about you but when I cook, I get into a zone where I am completely and utterly relaxed. I think it is like Zen for Foodies!

How I improvised on the recipe:
1) The recipe called for chicken thighs and legs with the skin to be baked. I used a rotisserie chicken which I shredded…quick, easy and already seasoned.
2) I didn’t have course ground mustard, so I added yellow mustard…it worked.
3) Make sure that you peel a few layers of the leeks away after cutting off the tops and bottoms. And after chopping, put them in a bowl of cold water to clean and separate them because after being cut they have a tendency to stick.
4) Also, I realized that puff pastry tears easily, so unfold it slowly. And also do not let it defrost for too long.
Once you begin with this recipe, you will find that it is something that you can make again and again!