Tuesday, May 1, 2012

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

At first I was a little intimidated by this recipe but it looked so good and I had almost everything at home to make it.  The only thing I had to get was the cheese.  Hubs cooked the chicken the night before.  He pan fried it and seasoned it perfectly, he didn't follow the chicken recipe below.  This saved me a lot of time when cooking tonight.  I followed the rest of the recipe as directed making a few changes along the way.  First, I thought it called for a little too much milk.  I used a cup and a half with some heavy cream and still had to add some extra flour to thicken it up a bit.  I also added garlic salt and pepper to taste when it was finished.  Next time I make this, I'll add some peas.   This was a very  filling dinner, I barely finished my plate and I was starving.  I do love that it provided lunch for us for the next two days though. Overall, the recipe was worth the time and effort.  If I had to rename it, it would be grown up mac and cheese! 

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

For the chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

For the pasta:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk (I used skim milk but mixed in about 2 T heavy cream)
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

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