Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Creamy Penne with Chicken

Hello, everyone!  Happy Tuesday!  Have you ever been in a rush for supper, and have just a few ingredients on hand...you end up standing there trying to figure out what to make of it?  Hahahahahahahahahahaha of course you have!  We all have!  I had this happen the other night.  I was hungry, and I just wanted something to eat!
I found an bag of sun dried tomatoes, that, honestly, I couldn't even remember buying within the last two years...I rolled the dice and pulled them out to use.  I had pasta, chicken, cream and some spices.  I decided to toss it all together, and see what came out.
I am so glad I did!  Sometimes the simplest dishes are truly the best!  Let's get started!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
3 Tbs diced sun dried tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 C shredded mozzarella
1 C heavy cream
2-3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp dried paprika
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder, divided
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil 
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 lb. penne pasta, or pasta of choice

Alright, so first off, take your chicken breasts, and cut them up into bite sized pieces.  Don't forget, as they cook, they will shrink slightly, so I cut mine up into roughly 1 inch bites.  You can do this the morning of, and let the spices really sink into the chicken, that would be great!  I just tossed all of mine together, but this could easily be done ahead of time.  
Season your chicken with the  paprika, salt, and garlic powder on your chicken, and stir to coat all of the chicken.  Set this aside for a moment, and turn your attention to the sun dried tomatoes.  Also, go on and start of pot of water on your stove top, and bring that up to a boil.  When your water comes up to a boil, cook your pasta of choice according to the package directions.

Some sun dried tomatoes come packed in oil, which would have been nice.  If you have the tomatoes packed in oil, use the oil that the tomatoes came in.  However, mine weren't packed in oil, so once I had my tomatoes minced up, I poured about 2 Tbs of olive oil to just slightly soften them.  

Okay, pour the tomato oil into a skillet that has preheated over medium high heat for a few minutes.  Once the oil shimmers, add in the chicken, in a single layer, and leave the chicken alone in the pan, so that the chicken gets evenly browned.  Flip the chicken over after 2-3 minutes.  

Now, after a few minutes, look at this beautiful layer of flavor you have on the bottom of the pan.  Add in the sun dried tomatoes, cream, and spices; let this reduce slightly over medium heat, this should take about 5 minutes. 

Add in the cheese, a little bit at a time, so that the cheese doesn't clump up in the center.   Look at that beautiful creamy sauce that you end up with!  By now, your pasta should be done, so add it into the sauce, mix well, and serve it up!  This also reheats beautifully, just add in a little bit of water or chicken stock, and gently heat up.