Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicken and Pasta - simple or not?

Well, I had 2 ingredients in front of me... chicken and pasta. I had to make dinner but wanted to do something different.

What I usually do in these situations is search the Internet to find a few chicken and pasta recipes, get some ideas and then make my own dish.

I found people using chicken broth, cream cheese, spinach, tomatoes, cream soups, etc. I wanted to shy away from the cream soups...generally they are a little fattier and my husband isn't a huge fan (yes, the super skinny one). But the chicken broth and light cream cheese intrigued me. I've never mixed those two ingredients together before. So here is what I made with some other stuff I had lying around my house...

1 package of chicken tenderloin strips (roughly a pound)
1 can chicken broth
3/4 package light cream cheese bar
frozen spinach from Trader Joes
frozen shelled edamame from Trader Joes
Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese as a garnish
a dash of salt

I'm not going to tell you how much pasta to cook. That's your choice. I made enough for 4 servings - dinner and then leftovers.

I poured the chicken broth into a skillet over medium heat and dropped in the tenderloin strips. After about 8 minutes, I dropped in the frozen spinach and edamame. Sure, you can thaw these 2 things and drain them, but I was lazy and needed to cook fast. Then I sprinkled a dash of sea salt over the mixture.

I placed the top of the skillet on and let everything simmer for probably another 8 minutes on medium heat. While that was simmering, I cubed the cream cheese. Once cubed and the spinach looked un-frozen and warm, I stirred in the cream cheese until everything was a nice light green creamy color. I then sprinkled in some Italian seasonings and crushed red pepper flakes and stirred. Top of the skillet went back on and I let everything cook till hot.

When everything was ready, I placed the pasta (I decided to use elbows) into bowls and topped it with the sauce, spinach, edamame and chicken. A sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese finished off the dish.

The whole process probably took me about a half hour. Not bad, and I could see preparing this the night before and then popping it in the microwave right after work. My husband said he really enjoyed the dish and I did as well. Good creation, one that will go in our cookbook!

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