There's still time for comfort food before we break into barbeuce season in full swing. Why not, dig into this rich and Creamy Chicken Penne before summer hits with a force!
First of all today, I just want to put it out there that I know I'm a bit slow with the recipes lately. Hoping that is going to change now that I have a bit more time this week. It's been a bit on the busy side and there hasn't been a whole lot of time for recipe writing. I have a lot of new stuff in the wings waiting to get written and I am hoping this week to get a few more recipes out to you all.
If you happen to read my blog and can remember anything that I ever write about, okay that's a tall order I know. Well, way back in January, I decided to make a quest to eat better. Here's my problem, I "think" I eat well and generally feel okay about pretty much everything I eat. I don't often over indulge, despite all the baking and cooking I do. I generally have a good idea about balance and try my very best to get it right. I don't always succeed. I'm human after all. But with the best efforts put in place this year, I think I have succeeded with getting things more in balance.
Here was what was on my to do list if you are even vaguely interested. If not, just skip straight the recipe at the bottom because I know I can go on a bit.
First on my hit list was to eat less chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Not sugar necessarily, but chocolate. Well, I think the kind of chocolate I eat is pretty much just sugar. After a complete orgy of chocolate at Christmas and New Year, I was ready to turn over a new leaf and never eat chocolate again. Yea right. I think that lasted about 2 weeks. Then I caved and had some and it tasted pretty good. However, I seem to have less chocolate cravings than I have in the past and have it somewhat under control. Note I said somewhat.
Next on my less to do list, was wine. Yes, my big love! I love wine and I am not prepared to lie about it. Traditionally, I was just a weekend wine drinker and I was fine with that. Then it used to start sneaking it's way in on a Wednesday night, a glass or two. Then during Christmas, probably every evening. I don't mean a whole bottle, that would be a bit much, but at least a glass or two, ah or three...eek! I knew this habit had to go as well. So come the first of January, well the 6th actually, it was back to weekend wine. Fine, sometimes there is a glass during the week but I'm generally good..ha!
The last thing on my list was to eat less. I was never a big eater and never in my life have had a big appetite. But I found myself in the habit of eating just for the sake of it. Literally, just because it was there, because I cooked it and somebody had to taste it to see if it tasted good or because I convinced myself that I was hungry. Like all habits, it became regular and was going on for a long time. That's the problem with being a stay-at-home kind of person, there is temptation all day long. However, four months in and I am not night snacking any more and even doing better throughout the day when I am stuck in the house with ALL the food.
Overall, I think it's been a successful four months. I'll keep trying with varying degrees of success and failure and that's perfectly okay by me.
Right so enough about revisiting my new years resolutions, so let's talk about pasta!
I seem to have quite a few creamy pasta dishes on the blog, because the kids really like them. And you know how I feel about making food that they will eat. So, I target at least a few very kid friendly meals a week. Pasta is always easy and versatile, so I seem to come up with endless ways to seemingly make the same dish..ha!
On the blog there are several recipes similar to this one just not quite the same. The Chicken, Leek & Broccoli Pasta Bake, Baked Penne Pasta with Chicken and even Macaroni and Cheese are just a few to start. And if you look through the pasta section of the blog, you will find quite a few indulgent creamy pasta dishes.
So what about this pasta dish and what makes it different? Well, it contains no vegetables what so ever, not even onions! I know, pretty basic. And I almost always cook with onions, so when I was making this, I thought it was doing to lack flavour. Guess what? It was really fantastic! I kind of thought the lack of any kind of vegetable, onion or leek was going to leave the vegetable flat. It didn't disappoint at all and will most definitely make it again. The reason there were no onions of any kind used in this dish, was simply because I didn't have any. And honestly that is how most of my recipes come about. I don't usually have an "in place strategy" let's just say. I more of a "let's wing it and hope for the best" kind of person...ha!
This dish is proof that winging it works for me. The recipe is pretty straight forward so I don't think there really is too much to say. I used a mix of parmesan and Gouda cheese but you could just as easily subsitute for whatever cheese you have. Cheddar and even mozzarella would both work.
Happy Cooking friends and I am hoping to be back tomorrow with another recipe. Fingers crossed!
Creamy Chicken Penne
Serves 4-6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 50 minutes
2 Chicken breast
1/2 lb/250 grams penne pasta
2 Cups/480 ml milk
2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Cups/175 grams Gouda cheese, grated
1/3 Cup/35 grams parmesan cheese, grated
Small bunch of fresh chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Teaspoon sea salt
1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 Cup/25 grams bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and have ready a 8 inch round deep sided baking dish. An equivalent size will do.
Place the chicken between two sheets of parchment paper and pound it to about an inch thickness with a kitchen hammer. Then season the chicken both sides with salt and rub over the crushed garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Sear the chicken on each side for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium to high heat, melt butter until sizzling. Whisk in flour until you have a paste. Gradually start whisking in your milk. Continue doing this until you have added all the milk and you have a slightly thickened sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and add most of the cheese, both kinds, reserving a little for the top. Stir really well until all the cheese has melted into the sauce. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley. Stir and remove from heat.
Add chicken, pasta and sauce to the oven dish and stir well to combine. Sprinkle over remaining cheese and bread crumbs and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Let stand a couple of minutes before serving
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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