Friday, July 13, 2012

Baked cheesy chicken rotini

This recipe came from Real Mom Kitchen, which is a fantabulous blog which makes me feel inadequate for not being near as cool as her, but at the same time gives me the confidence to know that you really can do it all even when you have kids. I love her recipes, and she even reviews cookbooks so you know what to pick up if you need more ideas!

6 T butter (I used 2 T butter and 4 T greek yogurt)
1 box wheat rotini pasta
1 t olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
6 cups whole milk (I used skim)
10 oz cremini mushrooms (I used normal mushrooms)
1 cup sliced, oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained
2 cups shredded provolone
1.5 cups freshly grated parmesan
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
italian seasoning to taste
2 cups chicken stock/broth
2 cups spinach or arugula

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and boil your pasta acording to the package instructions. While pasta is boiling, prepare chicken to bake the chicken breasts by seasoning it with garlic powder, onion powder, and italian seasoning. Bake until opaque throughout.

Add olive oil to a saute pan, and cook mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic, whisking for 1 minute. While whisking constantly, gradually add milk and bring to a simmer. Keep whisking frequently as sauce thickens. Since I used less butter and thinner milk, the flour would ball up so I whisked and separated with a fork rather than an actual whisk so I had more control over mixing.

Add mushrooms and tomatoes, and cook for one more minute before turning off the heat. Gradually stir in provolone, greek yogurt (if you're skipping some butter like I did), and 1/2 cup parmesan. Stir in the chicken stock and you should have a pretty hefty sauce. Cut up the chicken and add it to the pan, as well as your cooked pasta and the spinach or arugula. Mix it up and pour into a baking dish, topping with remaining parmesan, and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

I made this for a pool night when I knew there were going to be a bunch of kids over...I thought of it as sort of a "fancy" mac and cheese. Main Man walked into kitchen and scolded me for feeding all those veggies to kids. He scared me into thinking they would stare at their plates and I would be deemed the least fun house ever to visit. So I made spagetti. I froze this (which was tough because I really wanted to eat it)....and made it this week when some of my bridesmaids came over to help stuff invitations. AND Aubrey ate the crap out of it so I know it is (almost) 2 year old kid approved! It was also Main Man approved (he scarfed down the leftovers and hid the rest in the fridge for lunch this week), and picky bridesmaid approved (Brandy and Cyn both had seconds). The point of all this is...I WIN!!

A lot of pasta dishes taste the same, but this one has a little something different with the sweet chewiness of the sundried tomatoes, and the creaminess of the cheeses. I know it seems like a lot of ingredients, but if you read through the list, most of it was stuff I have on hand normally anyhow. Please excuse the photos, I took them with my phone since the camera Santa bought me had an accident (hopefully not too expensive of an accident).  I served this with green leaf lettuce salads picked right from the garden...there's something so cathartic about picking your dinner out of the dirt, washing it, and eating it then and there...just gives me a warm fuzzy!  Enjoy your Friday, all!

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1 comment:

  1. Although I'm allergic to dairy, I did have a few bites and boy, I sure wish this were dairy free! It is YUM!!!